Cardinal Parolin Prays for Peace and Reconciliation in South Sudan
RUMBEL, South Sudan – On the final day of his visit to South Sudan, Cardinal Parolin, the Holy See Secretary of State, was welcomed with open arms in Rumbek, where he presided over a Mass for peace and reconciliation.
In his homily during the Mass, Cardinal Parolin emphasized the need to “turn the page” and make room for justice and peace. Drawing inspiration from the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to his disciples, the cardinal stressed the transformative power of the words “Peace be with you.” He urged the congregation to embrace these words as a call to action in their own lives.
The lack of justice and peace, Cardinal Parolin noted, breeds fear and a sense of powerlessness. He spoke about the dangers of succumbing to temptation and relying on weapons rather than forgiveness. The cardinal warned that failure to prioritize justice and peace leads to the fragmentation of communities and the rise of discord.
However, Cardinal Parolin reminded the audience that fear should not rule their lives. He spoke of sin and fear being exorcised by Christ, who revealed the true essence of love. Addressing the role of the Church, he emphasized that it is a community committed to reconciliation and serving society, not just a humanitarian institution or a business.
The cardinal stressed that membership in the Church is not determined by appointment or tribal belonging but by a shared Christian faith. He urged the people of South Sudan to reject violence as a means of resolving differences and emphasized that forgiveness, as exemplified by Christ on the cross, is the key to justice and peace.
Quoting Pope Francis’ visit to South Sudan earlier this year, Cardinal Parolin spoke about the importance of humility and treating others as brothers and sisters. He insisted that personal honor and prestige should not be idols, and divisions amongst ethnic groups must be transcended.
The Holy See Secretary appealed for active participation in the Church, reminding the congregation that being a church person goes beyond baptism and passive attendance at liturgies. He emphasized the significance of partaking frequently in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as cherishing Christian commitments in marriage and consecrated life. The cardinal underlined that the family is the bedrock of society, and religious life plays a vital role in the Church’s mission.
Cardinal Parolin’s visit to South Sudan comes at a critical time when the country is striving to emerge from years of conflict and attain lasting peace. His prayers and message of reconciliation have resonated with the people, offering hope for a brighter future.
For more information, please visit www.vaticannews.cn.