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Montevideo, May 25th 2019 - 21:10 UTC

Pope calls for peace and fraternity in his Urbi e Orbi address

Wednesday, December 26th 2018 - 07:05 UTC
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“My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture,” Pope Francis said on Tuesday. “My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture,” Pope Francis said on Tuesday.

The Pope has used his annual Christmas message to appeal for peace in conflict zones including Yemen and Syria. The two countries have both been ravaged by civil war for years, pushing their people into humanitarian crises. Francis also called for political reconciliation in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

“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 from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica, addressing the square below.

He also said he hoped the international community would “work decisively for a political solution” in Syria - a country that is approaching its eighth year of civil war.

“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,” he added.

The United Nations says more than 6 million civilians have been displaced there since the war there began.

His address also alluded to worldwide tensions over migration, saying that God wanted “love, acceptance, respect” throughout all humanity.

“Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger - they are a source of richness,” he said.

Pope Francis revealed his hope for renewed talks between the Israelis and Palestinians to “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”.

The 82-year-old is the first Pope from Latin America - a region he also referenced in his annual address, calling for political reconciliation in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The Pontiff also referenced Ukraine, as well as the millions of people displaced in Africa.

The address comes a day after Pope Francis' traditional Christmas Eve message in which he condemned the huge divide between the world's rich and poor. In his homily,

Pope Francis said the birth of Christ pointed to a new way to live “not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving”.

He continued: ”Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for living? Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?

The Pope has made highlighting the plight of the poor a key theme of his papacy..

Categories: Politics, International.

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