We're All Hoping With the South Sudanese, Says Aide

Spokesman Speaks of This People’s «Mysterious Vitality»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2011 (Zenit.org).- With Saturday’s establishment of South Sudan as the world’s newest nation, the Vatican spokesman had an exhortation for the international country: Let us not allow this nation to fail.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, reflected on South Sudan in the most recent edition of Vatican Television’s «Octava Dies.»

He spoke of hopes that the nation might begin «a new history of peace.»

The Jesuit recalled addresses that Pope John Paul II gave during a few-hour stop in Khartoum in 1993.

The Pontiff repeated what he had said to the Vatican diplomatic corps the month before: He spoke of his hope «that the Sudanese, with the freedom to choose, will succeed in finding a constitutional formula which will make it possible to overcome contradictions and struggles, with proper respect paid to the specific characteristics of each community.»

«It is difficult at this moment not to think of all the prayers and sufferings of those affected by the continuing conflict in this land, especially in the South,» the Holy Father also said, referring to the civil war that tormented Sudan for two decades. 

«The winds of change are demanding renewed structures of economic and political organization, structures which will genuinely respect human dignity and human rights,» the Polish Pontiff added that day.

Incredible enthusiasm

Father Lombardi noted how John Paul II «addressed, with his typical extraordinary courage in the face of rulers, the dramatic themes of justice and freedom» and was «welcomed with incredible enthusiasm by an immense crowd of Sudanese Catholics, mostly refugees from the south, who had fled from the violence of an endless civil war.”

«Eighteen years have passed,» the spokesman reflected. «It is estimated that 2 million have died and 4 million have been displaced, but now we hope that the war is truly over and that the new republic of South Sudan, desired by the majority of its inhabitants, might begin a new history of peace.»

«Despite its resources,» Father Lombardi said of the oil-rich region, South Sudan «will at the beginning be one of the poorest countries of the world.»

It «must face very difficult problems with regard to its internal unity,» he acknowledged.

«But,» Father Lombardi affirmed, «its inhabitants hope — and all of us with them — to be able to build a future of freedom and peace.»

«The mysterious and extraordinary vitality of the people of Sudan — which exploded that evening in Khartoum around John Paul II — has not been exhausted, but has need of concrete and strong international and ecclesial solidarity,» the spokesman concluded. «Let us not allow it to fail.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation