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Pope begs for peace in South Sudan

VATICAN (CNS): At the end of a highly unusual spiritual retreat for the political leaders of warring factions of South Sudan on April 11 held at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis knelt at their feet, begging them to give peace a chance and to be worthy “fathers of the nation.”
 
Unscripted, he said to them, “As a brother, I ask you to remain in peace. I ask you from my heart, let’s go forward. There will be many problems, but do not be afraid.” 
 

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African crisis demands a response

DUBLIN (SE): The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has asked for a special collection to be taken up at all Masses in the country on the weekend of July 22 and 23 to fund life-saving aid for people currently affected by the devastating hunger crisis in east-Africa.
 
The money raised will be distributed by the Catholic aid society, Trócaire, which is already involved in delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected.
 

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Massacre on cards in South Sudan

JUBA (SE) : “Over 100,000 people are living in fear and uncertainty and are unable to leave the city,” Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe, from Equatoria, South Sudan, told Radio Easter in Juba.

He said that the country has been hit by a wave of murders and massacres, which are believed to have been carried out by mixed military-civilian groups that target suspected supporters of the former vice president, Riek Machar.

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Holding the fort in South Sudan

JUBA (CNS): While most expatriate workers have left South Sudan since a brutal attack was carried out by what The Associated Press described as 80 heavily armed men, Brother Bill Firman says he believes it is a good place for a religious to be.

Reports say that the 80 men raped several women, especially singling out the Americans, beat and robbed people and carried out mock executions over nearly four hours.

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Pope meets president of South Sudan

KAMPALA (SE): Pope Francis met with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, at the statehouse of the president of Uganda in Kampala on November 27.

Vatican Radio reported that the pope and the president held a 15-minute private meeting.

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