South Sudan Primate Welcomes Church Leaders but Remains Firm on Biblical Marriage

South Sudan Primate Welcomes Church Leaders
but Remains Firm on Biblical Marriage

The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Revd Dr Iain Greenshields, visited South Sudan in the first weekend of February to participate in a ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’. The three religious leaders joined the Primate of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi, in an open-air vigil service attended by around 60,000 people, to pray for peace in the land and the well-being of her people. They also met the country’s political leaders and spoke to people displaced by the ongoing civil war.

Archbishop Welby said the Church leaders were making their Pilgrimage of Peace to South Sudan “as servants – to listen to and amplify the cries of the South Sudanese people, who have suffered so much and continue to suffer because of conflict, devastating flooding, widespread famine and much more.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Caroline Welby, who has made several previous visits to South Sudan to support women in the Church in their role as peace-builders.

Archbishop Badi said, “We appreciate these Christian world leaders for their prayers, and their tireless efforts under the most challenging circumstances, to engage the world in the immense need to stand with the South Sudanese people.  We pray their visit will remind us as South Sudanese people to repent of our own spirit of violence and mistrust, and to recommit ourselves to true reconciliation, justice and peaceful co-existence.”

However, Archbishop Badi clarified that his warm participation and generous Christian hospitality to the invited religious leaders, including Archbishop Welby, did not in any way diminish his biblical views on marriage or sexuality.

Archbishop Badi is Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), a worldwide fellowship of orthodox Anglican Provinces and Dioceses. He explained that the leaders of the GSFA were earnestly praying for a good outcome to the Church of England General Synod Motion on Living in Love and Faith on Wednesday 8th February. He added that the Global South Fellowship is poised to follow through on the implications of that critical Synod vote.