Monday, August 7, 2017

Anglican AB Welby concludes Visit to Uganda and Sudan

From Sudan-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on Wednesday concluded a visit to East Africa which could help pave the way for a joint peace mission to South Sudan with Pope Francis.

The archbishop has spent five days in Uganda and Sudan, meeting with both religious and government leaders. In Khartoum he preached at a service marking the inauguration of the 39th province of the Anglican Communion. The new independent province of Sudan marks the culmination of a process that began after South Sudan, where the majority of Christians in the region are located, gained independence from its northern neighbour in 2011.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis said he hoped to go on a joint visit to South Sudan with Archbishop Welby, but the planned trip was postponed because of an upsurge in the civil war that erupted in 2013.

Among those accompanying the Anglican leader on this week’s journey was Bishop Nick Baines of the northern English diocese of Leeds. Philippa Hitchen asked him about the visit and about the chances of a joint peace mission by the Catholic and Anglican leaders to war-torn South Sudan.
Bishop Baines notes that after the independence of South Sudan, an internal province was created and that has now become the autonomous province of Sudan, under the leadership of Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo.

He says there are five dioceses in the new province, with the majority of Christians in Khartoum. The four other dioceses have a lot of South Sudanese refugees, especially Kadugli in the contended zone around the Nuba Mountains, where the bishops travelled under heavy security on Saturday.

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