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For Many, the Pope’s Visit is the Peace they Need

The 86-year-old pontiff is flying to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), home to 45 million Catholics, on Tuesday. On Friday, he heads to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where he will be joined by the leaders of the Anglican Church and the Church of Scotland. The six-day trip was originally planned for July 2022 but was postponed after Pope Francis suffered problems with his knee, which have recently forced him to use a wheelchair. There were also concerns about his planned visit to the east of the DRC, where dozens of armed groups – including M23, which recently came within several miles of the commercial hub of Goma – roam. The new itinerary no longer includes a trip to Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province, although the pope will meet victims of the conflict while in Kinshasa.