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Michael Mukuei Lueth serves as the head of Information, Communication, and Postal Service in South Sudan.Twitter

(LifeSiteNews) — A high-ranking South Sudanese cabinet member said his country will resist Pope Francis to his face if the pontiff urges them to decriminalize homosexual behavior during his visit to the embattled nation this week.

“If he [Pope Francis] is coming here and he tells us that marriage of the same-sex, homosexuality is legal, we will say no,” Michael Makuei Lueth said at a press conference Friday, January 27, according to Radio Tamazuj, a South Sudanese broadcasting company.

Mukei serves as the head of Information, Communication, and Postal Service for the landlocked, Christian-majority nation, where same-sex “marriage” remains outlawed and homosexual behavior punishable with up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

The 86-year-old Bishop of Rome is scheduled for a trip to South Sudan as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo from Tuesday, January 31 to Sunday, February 5. He will be joined by Anglican primate Justin Welby and a representative of the Presbyterian community in Scotland. The Vatican previously hosted the heads of South Sudan’s rival factions in April 2019, when Francis infamously kissed their feet.

During an interview with the Associated Press last week, Francis sent shockwaves across the world when he said homosexual behavior is a sin but “not a crime.” He also said the Church “must” work to end anti-sodomy laws, for which he was praised by many pro-LGBT clergy and media outlets.

Mukei continued his remarks by stating, “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?”

Despite his defiant tone, Mukei told the press the Pope’s visit is a “historical event” and that he recognized he was coming “so that peace prevails” in the war-torn region.

South Sudan is currently under a provisional government following a civil war that began in 2013. It has been overrun by violence in recent years in spite of significant peace efforts, prompting Vatican intervention.

The Bible maintains that sodomy is one of the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance — the others being murder, oppression of the poor, and defrauding laborers of just wages. The ancient city of Sodom, which was destroyed by God with fire and brimstone, was named after the sin that its homosexual inhabitants engaged in without repentance.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches same-sex attraction is “intrinsically disordered” because it inclines persons to perform behaviors that not only cause them to lose their own souls but harm the Mystical Body of Christ. In his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI reaffirmed the traditional teaching of the Church that only when men “recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.”