While many people were disappointed that Pope Francis was unable to make his long-awaited visit to Congo and South Sudan, Cardinal Pietro Parolin assured the people that the pope had not given up on visiting them.
“I did not come on my own behalf but rather to bring you Pope Francis’ affection,” the Vatican secretary of state told Catholics at a parish in Juba, South Sudan, on 7th July.
“I come, like John the Baptist, to prepare his arrival. The pope wants to come to South Sudan; he is planning a trip to Juba but the visit is intended for the whole country, to meet all the people,” he said, according to Vatican News.
The Vatican press office had announced on 10th June that the pope’s visit to Congo and his ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan were postponed because the pope continued to have problems with his knee.
Addressing pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on 12th June, the pope said he felt “great sorrow for having had to postpone this trip, which means so much to me. I apologise for this.”
“Let us pray together that, with the help of God and medical attention, I will be able to be with you as soon as possible,” he added.
“Let us be hopeful!”
Picture: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, greets a sick woman during his meeting with religious congregations in Kinshasa, Congo, on 4th July 2022. (CNS photo/Salvatore Cernuzio, Vatican Media)