Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Christmas message to the South Sudanese political leaders jointly signed by the Holy Father Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the ex-Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rev. John Chalmers:
In this Christmas season and at the beginning of a new year, we wish to extend to you and to all the people of South Sudan our best wishes for your peace and prosperity, and to assure you of our spiritual closeness as you strive for a swift implementation of the Peace Agreements.
We raise our prayers to Christ the Saviour for a renewed commitment to the path of reconciliation and fraternity, and we invoke abundant blessings upon each of you and upon the entire nation.
May the Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, enlighten you and guide your steps in the way of goodness and truth, and bring to fulfilment our desire to visit your beloved country.
JOHN CHALMERS[Original text: English]