The Pope prays for peace: Francis urges world leaders to put aside ‘partisan interests’ and end conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine in Christmas Day blessing at The Vatican
- The Pope gave his traditional ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Christmas message this morning
- He addressed tens of thousands from St Peter’s basilica balcony in Vatican city
- Francis offered a message of unity and urged political solutions to conflicts
Pope Francis has offered his Christmas wish for fraternity among people of different faiths, races or ideas.
He urged the world to put aside ‘partisan interests’ to find a political solution to wars in Syria and Yemen and conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula.
Addressing tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans in St Peter’s Square, Francis said on Tuesday that the universal message of Christmas was that ‘God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters’.
Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter’s basilica in the Vatican on Christmas Day
Pope Francis delivers the ‘Urbi et Orbi’ message from the main balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, December 25, 2018
The Pope used the traditional Christmas blessing to urge the world to put aside ‘partisan interests’ to find a political solution to war
Without fraternity, the pope said ‘even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty’.
He added that ‘our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness’.
Francis made his appeal as trends toward nationalism, fuelling suspicion of migrants and refugees, have gained traction in much of the developed world.
Francis urged the international community to ‘work decisively for a political solution that can put aside divisions and partisan interests, so that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country’.
The Pope gave his address to tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans in St Peter’s Square on Christmas Day
The pope said on Tuesday that the universal message of Christmas was that ‘God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters’
Pope Francis used his traditional Urbi et Orbi Christmas Day blessing to announce his Christmas wish – fraternity among people of different faiths, races or ideas
He said he hoped an internationally-brokered truce for Yemen would bring relief to that country’s people, especially children ‘exhausted by war and famine’.
Other Christmas wishes expressed by the pope included one for dialogue among Israelis and Palestinians so they can ‘undertake a journey of peace that can put an end to a conflict that for over 70 years has rent the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love’.
He also cited conflicts and vulnerable populations in much of Africa, in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ukraine. He expressed hope that the ‘bonds of fraternity uniting the Korean peninsula’ would be consolidated.
On Monday, Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass for the faithful in St Peter’s Basilica.
Looking at an audience of tens of thousands, the Pope said He ‘our differences are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness’
Members of Swiss Guard are seen as Pope Francis delivers the ‘Urbi et Orbi’ message today
The Pope urged leaders to seek political solutions to the wars in Syria and Yemen and conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula