Pope Francis sends Christmas Message.
Pope Francis, in his Christmas message to the world on Tuesday (December 25), urged people to see differences as a source of richness instead of danger and called for reconciliation in places torn apart by war and conflict.
Francis delivered the traditional papal “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message to tens of thousands of people in a sunny St. Peter’s Square.
Security has been tight around the Vatican for the Christmas season, with military jeeps stationed at key access routes.
In his address, in what appeared to be a reference to the shrill political climate in a number of countries, Francis called for “fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another.”
May this Christmas help us to rediscover the bonds of fraternity linking us together as individuals and joining all peoples. May it enable Israelis and Palestinians to resume dialogue and undertake a journey of peace that can put an end to a conflict that for over 70 years has lacerated the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love.”
For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity . Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture. Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another. Fraternity among persons of different religions. Jesus came to reveal the face of God to all those who seek him. The face of God has been revealed in a human face. It did not appear in an angel, but in one man, born in a specific time and place. By his incarnation, the Son of God tells us that salvation comes through love, acceptance, respect for this poor humanity of ours, which we all share in a great variety of races, languages, and cultures. Yet all of us are brothers and sisters in humanity! Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness. As when an artist is about to make a mosaic: it is better to have tiles of many colours available, rather than just a few.”
May the Child Jesus allow the beloved and beleaguered country of Syria once again to find fraternity after these long years of war. May the international community 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. 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. I think too of Africa, where millions of persons are refugees or displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance and food security.”
May this blessed season allow Venezuela once more to recover social harmony and enable all the members of society to work fraternally for the country’s development and to aid the most vulnerable sectors of the population. May the Newborn Lord bring relief to the beloved land of Ukraine, yearning to regain a lasting peace that is slow to come. Only with a peace respectful of the rights of every nation can the country recover from the sufferings it has endured and restore dignified living conditions for its citizens.”
Before the Child Jesus, may the inhabitants of beloved Nicaragua see themselves once more as brothers and sisters, so that divisions and discord will not prevail, but all may work to promote reconciliation and to build together the future of the country.”
A particular thought goes to our brothers and sisters who celebrate the birth of the Lord in difficult, if not hostile situations, especially where the Christian community is a minority, often vulnerable or not taken into account.”
The first Latin American pope alluded to polarisation over migration, saying God wanted “love, acceptance, respect for this poor humanity of ours, which we all share in a great variety of races, languages, and cultures.”
Francis called for the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians to “undertake a journey of peace that can put an end to a conflict that for over seventy years has lacerated the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love.”
He urged the international community to work for a political solution in Syria and said he hoped a truce brokered in Yemen’s civil war could bring relief to a population exhausted by violence and famine.
Francis called for the rediscovery of social harmony in Nicaragua and Venezuela, both racked by internal political conflicts.
The millions of refugees or displaced persons in Africa who in need of humanitarian assistance and food security should not be forgotten, he said.