Friday, April 12, 2019

Pope Francis Kisses Feet Of South Sudan Leaders

Pope Francis knelt and kissed the feet of South Sudan's rival leaders in an unprecedented act of humbleness to encourage them to strengthen the African country's faltering peace process.

At the closed two-day retreat in the Vatican for the African leaders, the pope asked South Sudan's president and opposition leader to proceed with the peace agreement despite growing difficulties.

Onlookers appeared to be stunned as the 82-year-old pope, who suffers from chronic leg pain, was helped by aides as he knelt with difficulty to kiss the shoes of the leaders and several other people in the room.


The pope usually holds a ritual washing of the feet with prisoners on Holy Thursday, but has never performed such a show of deference to political leaders.

'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 pope said of South Sudan in his closing statement.




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