AP NEWS

Pope says he may add South Sudan leg onto Africa trip

May 10, 2019
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Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he may add a South Sudan leg onto his Africa trip in September if conditions there are “mature.”

Francis told a visiting nun from Juba on Friday he wants to go to South Sudan as part of his trip but can’t promise.

He planned to visit South Sudan with the archbishop of Canterbury in 2017, but security conditions prevented it. Recently, Francis hosted the South Sudanese president and opposition leader for a spiritual retreat at the Vatican, where he kissed their feet in pleading for them to make peace.

Francis is to visit Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique Sept. 4-10.

He told the nun he might have time to stop in South Sudan, “and when I say time, it’s not about the time on the clock. It’s whether the time is mature to go there.”