Pope Francis kisses feet of South Sudan leaders urging them to peace

Pope Francis has broken with papal protocol by kneeling to kiss the feet of South Sudan leaders at the Vatican, CNN reports.

A video released by the Vatican shows an aide on Thursday assisting the 82-year-old Francis, who was breathing heavily, so he could kiss the feet of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He then moved on to Vice Presidents-designate Riek Machar and Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior.

Kiir and Machar were once rivals, with Kiir accusing Machar -- his former deputy -- of staging a 2013 coup. Years of civil war followed. In 2018, they signed a peace agreement in Ethiopia, and they are now attempting to form a stable government together.