Pope Francis May Visit War-Torn South Sudan With Archbishop Of Canterbury

ReutersPope Francis said he may visit South Sudan.  

Pope Francis is considering visiting the troubled nation of South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

South Sudan, the world's newest country, and which has a Christian majority, has suffered relentless ethnic violence since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and has been in civil war since 2013.

The Pope revealed his plans during a visit to All Saints Anglican Church in Rome, the first visit by a Pope to an Anglican church in Rome.

The Pope presided over evensong with the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Europe, Robert Innes, and also took questions from the congregation.

It was during these questions that he revealed that a visit to South Sudan is being looked at. He also said there was a possiblity that he would be accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, according to Vatican Radio.

The visit would be for one day only because of the 'difficult' situation in the country, the Pope said.

In his homily, he added: 'As Catholics and Anglicans, we are humbly grateful that, after centuries of mutual mistrust, we are now able to recognise that the fruitful grace of Christ is at work also in others.

'Today we can be encouraged by our gathering.'

Pope Francis has built close ties with the Anglican Church and has forged a strong friendship with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, to whom he is similar to in many respects. Evangelisation is a priority for both leaders, along with addressing the persecution of Christians and members of other faiths around the world.