Copyright: Vatican Media -- Pope Francis shakes hands with the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir

To Political Leaders of South Sudan: We Will Visit in Due Course; Small Progress, But Not Enough

In Christmas Letter, Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury and Moderator of Church of Scotland Stress ‘When We Visit, We Long to Bear Witness to a Changed Nation’ (FULL TEXT)

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The Holy Father Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rev. Martin Fair, have together sent a Christmas letter today, Dec. 24, 2020, to South Sudan’s political leaders.

While applauding progress made thus far, they still lament “it is not enough.”

The three Church leaders also reiterate their plan to visit together South Sudan “in due course.”

They began noting “we remain prayerfully mindful of the commitments made at the Vatican in April 2019 – yours to bring your country to a smooth implementation of the Peace Agreement, and ours to visit South Sudan in due course, as things return to normalcy.”

“We have been glad to see the small progress you have made, but know,” they stressed, “it is not enough for your people to feel the full effect of peace.”

“When we visit, we long to bear witness to a changed nation, governed by leaders who, in the words of the Holy Father last year, ‘hold hands, united … as simple citizens’ to ‘become Fathers (and Mothers) of the Nation,'” they clarified.

The religious leaders called on the politicians to have greater trust among themselves and be more generous in serving their people.

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the message:

***

Christmas 2020

Their Excellencies,
The Political Leaders of South Sudan

Your Excellencies,

In this Christmas season, we remember that our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world among the least – in a dusty stable with animals. Later, he called those who wish to be great in his kingdom to be the servant of all (Mark 10:43).

We remain prayerfully mindful of the commitments made at the Vatican in April 2019 – yours to bring your country to a smooth implementation of the Peace Agreement, and ours to visit South Sudan in due course, as things return to normalcy. We have been glad to see the small progress you have made, but know it is not enough for your people to feel the full effect of peace. When we visit, we long to bear witness to a changed nation, governed by leaders who, in the words of the Holy Father last year, ‘hold hands, united … as simple citizens’ to ‘become Fathers (and Mothers) of the Nation’.

We pray, this Christmas, that you will know greater trust among yourselves and a greater generosity of service to your people. We pray you know the peace that surpasses understanding in your own hearts and in the heart of your great nation (Philippians 4:7).

Francesco

Justin Welby

Martin Fair

[Original text: English] [Vatican-provided text]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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