Pope Francis In Christmas message for peace in
warring Syria and Yemen
Pope Francis message on Christmas Eve to the warring of Syria and Yemen.
The pontiff wished for fraternity among individuals of every country and culture.
Pope Francis on Tuesday used his Christmas message to appeal for peace in conflict zones like Syria and Yemen and wished for fraternity among countries and cultures.
“My wish is a wish for fraternity, among individuals of every nation and culture,” Pope Francis said in his traditional “Urbi and Orbi” (To the City and to the World) address in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
“Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another. Fraternity among persons of different religions.”
The pontiff said he hoped that a truce in Yemen would end a war described by the United Nations as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”.
Close to 75% of the country’s population requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection and the UN had earlier warned that Yemen could face the worst famine in a century if the Saudi Arabia-led coalition did not stop aerial strikes against Iranian-backed Shiite rebels.
“My thoughts turn to Yemen, in the hope that the truce brokered by the international community may finally bring relief to all those children and people exhausted by war and famine,” he said.
Pope Francis also spoke about the war in Syria. United States President Donald Trump last week declared that he would withdraw American troops from the country after the defeat of the Islamic State.
“May the international community work to the political solution that can be put aside divisions and partisan interests, so that the Syrian people, especially those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere,
can return to live in peace in their own country,” Pope Francis said, adding that he hoped for peace talks between Israel and Palestine as well.
Remember The Poor And Shun Materialism, Pope Says
On Christmas Eve
Pope Francis led the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas on Monday, urging people in the developed world to seek a simpler,
less materialistic life and condemning the yawning gap between the rich and the poor.
Francis, 82, marking the sixth Christmas of his papacy, led a solemn service for nearly 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica for his traditional Christmas Eve Mass.
Security has been tight around the Vatican and many other tourist areas in Rome for the Christmas season.
Last week police in southern Italy arrested a Somali man suspected of having been a member of Islamic State and who had threatened to bomb churches in Italy, including St. Peter’s.
In his homily, Francis said the infant Jesus, born in poverty in a stable, should make everyone, particularly those who have become “greedy and voracious,” reflect on the real meaning of life.
“… Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for a living?
Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?” Francis said.
“In our day, for many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects. Insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically,
a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive,” he said.
Francis, the first pope from Latin America, has made defending the poor a hallmark of his papacy.
On Saturday, the Vatican said he had given the homeless in Rome a Christmas gift of a new clinic in St. Peter’s Square where they can get free medical help.
The Catholic charity Caritas estimated late last year that there are more than 16,000 homeless in Rome and their number congregating near the Vatican has grown visibly in recent years,
especially at night when they cluster under arcades to sleep.
Monday night’s Christmas Eve papal Mass was the first held with a new, energy-saving lighting system for the largest church in Christendom.
It employs 100,000 LEDs (light emitting diodes), using only 10 percent of the energy of the previous system.
On Christmas Day on Tuesday, Francis will deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of
St. Peter’s Basilica, the same balcony where he first appeared after his election on March 13, 2013.
Pope Francis, in Christmas Speech, Emphasizes
ROME — As nationalist forces rise globally and populist leaders emphasize the primacy of their own people,
Pope Francis used his annual Christmas Day address on Tuesday to voice his conviction that all humans are part of an extended holy family that has lost its sense of fraternity.
“My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity,” Francis, 82, said during his “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”) benediction from a balcony above St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
“Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture.
The Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another. Fraternity among persons of different religions.”
He added, “Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness.”
The pope, who has been an ardent defender of migrants in a period when speaking in their defense has largely fallen out of fashion, specifically addressed the scars of war in Africa, where
“millions of persons are refugees or displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance and food security.”
He called for a spirit of the fraternity to be rekindled in places where conflict has prevailed. Francis cited various conflicts, including between Israelis and Palestinians, in Yemen —
where children are exhausted from “war and famine,” he said — on the Korean Peninsula, in Venezuela, Ukraine and in the “beleaguered country of Syria.”
Last week, President Trump called for the withdrawal of all 2,000 American troops in Syria, suddenly announcing the end of a military campaign that has mostly crushed the Islamic State group.
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