There is no doubt that wars can take thousands or even millions of innocent lives.
Life is cruel enough and adding more hatred or division to this world would make the world a worse place for the future generation.
Begging to avoid another civil war, Pope Francis got down on his knees and kissed the feet of South Sudan’s rival leaders in an unprecedented act of humbleness.
The pope asked South Sudan’s president to proceed with the peace agreement even though there were many difficulties.
Watchers were stunned as the 82-year-old pope, who is suffering from leg pain, was assisted by aids as he bent down to kiss the feet of the leaders and many other people in the room.
This is the first time pope has performed such a show of deference to political leaders.
He said of South Sudan in his closing remarks: “I express my heartfelt hope that hostilities will finally cease, that the armistice will be respected, that political and ethnic divisions will be surmounted, and that there will be a lasting peace for the common good of all those citizens who dream of beginning to build the nation.”
The spiritual retreat brought together opposition head Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir. Kiir’s three vice presidents were also present and Pope Francis kissed their feet.
“I had never seen anything like that. Tears were flowing from my eyes,” South Sudanese Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Gardang said.
It was in 2011 when South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. But two years later, the nation entered a bloody civil war that left at least 400,000 people dead.
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