South Sudan is vehemently opposed to homosexuality and same sex marriage after Pope Francis asserted that homosexuality is not a crime but a sin.
Mr Michael Makuei Lueth, National Minister of Information, Communication and Postal Service, said at the weekend that South Sudan will not tolerate the unnatural act adding that it is punishable by law.
During an exclusive interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Pope Francis criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust” saying God loves all His children just as they are and called on Roman Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people into the church.
‘The Vicar of Christ’ said “Being homosexual isn’t a crime.”
He acknowledged that Roman Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalise homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ people the unnatural act he instead referred to as a “sin.”
Pope Francis attributed such attributes to cultural backgrounds saying bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognise the dignity of everyone.
However, while addressing the press shortly after a cabinet meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir on Firday, Minister Makuei said that if Pope Francis is going to South Sudan to preach about same sex marriage, the authorities there will not accept it.
“If he [Pope Francis] is coming here and he tells us that marriage of the same sex, homosexuality is legal, we will say no. But this is not what he is coming for,” the minister said.
Mr Makuei stressed that same sex marriage is ungodly and that God created a man and a woman to multiply and fill the world.
“God was not mistaken. He created man and woman and He told them to marry one another and go and fill the world. Do same sex partners give birth?” Our constitution is very clear and says marriage is between the opposite sex and any same sex marriage is a crime, is a constitutional crime.”
Pope Francis will proceed to South Sudan on February 3 where he will be joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Portal Welby and the Rt Rev Dr Ian Greenshields, the Moderator of the General Assambly of the Church of Scotland after his travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on January 31.
The minister said the main objective of the papal visit is to South Sudan is to preach peace and ask people to forgive one another and live in peace and harmony so that the country moves forward.
“He is coming to bless us so that we change our behaviours because at times we behave abnormally. So, he is coming her to pray for us so that peace prevails in South Sudan. The coming of the Pope is a historical event and it has never happened in the world that the three churches came together except when President Kiir and Dr Machar and the rest went to the Vatican,” Mr Makuei said.
Adding: “These three [The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Portal Welby, and Rt Rev Dr. Iain Greenshields, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland] were in Rome when our leaders went there and now they are coming together and it means there is something special about South Sudan.”