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Pope Francis laments ‘cold winds of war’ and ‘meaningless’ conflict in Ukraine in Christmas message at Vatican

Pope Francis used Sunday’s Christmas message to lament the “cold winds of war” that have struck humanity and fervently plead for an immediate end to war. fighting in ukrainea dispute ten months earlier that he denounced as “meaningless.”

At noon in Rome, Francis delivered his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “To the city and to the world”) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis Offers His Christmas Blessings
Pope Francis delivering his Christmas Urbi and Orbi blessings and traditional Christmas Day messages from the central balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, December 25, 2022.

Getty Images

On sunny days, with daytime temperatures reaching about 15 degrees Celsius (nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit), a warm winter for Rome, about 70,000 tourists, pilgrims and city residents flock to St. Peter’s Square , heard the Pope and received him. blessing.

Francis also referred to long-running conflicts in the Middle East, including the Holy Land.Furthermore, he prayed for a lasting ceasefire in Yemen and reconciliation in Iran and Myanmar, referring to violence and conflict in Africa’s Sahel region. did.

He lamented that the “path to peace” is blocked at Christmas by social forces including “obsession with power and money, pride, hypocrisy, and falsehood.”

“Indeed, even with the Prince of Peace given to us, we must admit with sorrow that the cold winds of war continue to overwhelm humanity.

“If we want a Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and a Christmas of peace, let us look to Bethlehem and contemplate the face of the child born for us,” he said. I see the faces of all the children who yearn for peace. “

Francis urged his followers to remember the millions of Ukrainians who had no electricity or heat on Sunday. Russian attacks on energy infrastructureas well as millions of people living as refugees abroad or displaced within the country since the February 24 invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Let us also see the faces of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are experiencing this Christmas in the dark and cold far from home because of the devastation of ten months of war,” the pope said. Crowd waving Ukrainian flags.

The Pope prayed that the Lord would “still the thunder of weapons and enlighten the minds of those who have the power to end this senseless war at once.”

Francis limped with a knee problem and nudged forward, leaning on a braced cane to get a better view of the crowd below.

The first pope from Latin America, he said Christmas “inspires political authorities and all people of good will in the Americas to seek to calm the political and social tensions experienced by various nations.” I prayed that

Francis said he was particularly thinking HaitiIt’s a poor Caribbean country where about 100,000 people in the capital have fled gang-related violence, according to a recent United Nations Organization for Migration report.

“On this day, as you sit around the table and keep your eyes on Bethlehem, whose name means ‘House of Bread,’ think of everyone, especially the hungry children. A lot of food is wasted every day and resources are spent on weapons. “

“The war in Ukraine has exacerbated this situation, putting entire populations at risk of famine, especially in Afghanistan and the countries of the Horn of Africa.

Early in the war, sea mines and Russian naval blockades of Ukrainian ports prevented shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, one of the world’s largest producers of grain and corn. Agreements brokered by Turkey and the United Nations have sought to address this issue.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-christmas-message-vatican-ukraine-war/ Pope Francis laments ‘cold winds of war’ and ‘meaningless’ conflict in Ukraine in Christmas message at Vatican

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