Pope Francis uses first Christmas address to urge an end to violent conflict

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Christmas Hope

Saint Louis, MO

#1 Dec 25, 2013
Pope Francis called on the world to end the "hatred and vengance" in Syria and to "heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq" in his first Christmas Day speech to an estimated crowd of 150,000 at the Vatican on Wednesday. In an address dominated by calls to end international conflicts, the pope called for "a favorable outcome in peace talks between Israel and Palestine."

He also highlighted of the conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, which he said had been "torn apart by a spiral of violence and poverty." The message of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was directed at "every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty," he said.

His words were met with chants of support from the large crowd in St. Peter's Square, where flags from all over the world were waved. "Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue," he told the crowd, in Italian.

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