Pope Francis on Christmas: no to arms, no to war

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25/12/2023
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On Christmas Eve, Pope Francis asked Christians to let themselves be surprised by the message of Christmas and to abandon what he called the “idolatry of consumerism.”

POPE FRANCIS
Brothers and sisters, here is the wonder of Christmas: not a mixture of sappy affections and worldly comforts, but the unprecedented tenderness of God who saves the world by becoming incarnate.

There was no lack of references to the situation in the Holy Land. Both during the Mass and before imparting the Urbi et Orbi blessing, Pope Francis dedicated messages to the two parties involved in the conflict and above all, to the victims.

POPE FRANCIS
I carry in my heart the grief for the victims of the heinous October 7 attack and renew an urgent appeal for the release of those still held hostage. I plead for an end to the military operations, with their appalling sequel of innocent civilian casualties, and for a remedy to the desperate humanitarian situation by allowing the arrival of aid.

From the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope insisted on asking both sides involved in the conflict and the international community for a greater commitment to peace.

POPE FRANCIS
Do not continue to fuel violence and hatred, but move toward a solution on the Palestinian issue, through sincere and persevering dialogue between the parties, backed by strong political will and the support of the international community.

At the same time, Pope Francis called for peace in other regions of the world plagued by instability and turmoil. He cited countries such as Yemen and South Sudan and asked for an end to the ongoing violence. He also asked for an end to arms trafficking and to not lose hope for peace.

There was a festive atmosphere in St. Peter's Square as thousands of people from many countries came to the Vatican on this special day to be close to the Pope and pray for peace.


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