When delivering the Urbi et Orbi blessing (to the city and the world), for Christmas, the Supreme Pontiff said that the paths of dialogue are actually the only ones that lead to the solution of conflicts and shared and long-lasting benefits.
“Indeed, even as the message of the birth of the Saviour, the source of true peace, resounds in our hearts and in the whole world, we continue to witness a great number of conflicts,” Francis said.
Next, he called to think of “the people of Syria, who for more than a decade have experienced a war that has resulted in many victims and an untold number of displaced persons” and in Iraq, “which still struggles to recover from a lengthy conflict.”
He said “let us listen to the cry of children arising from Yemen, where an enormous tragedy, overlooked by everyone, has silently gone on for years, causing deaths every day” and “let us recall, too, the continuing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians that drag on without a resolution, with ever more serious social and political consequences.”
In his call for dialogue and peace, the Pontiff spoke about the Middle East and “the Afghan people, who for more than forty years have been sorely tested by conflicts that have driven many to leave the country.
On the other hand, he asked the “Son of God” to grant consolation to the victims of violence against women, hope for children and teenagers suffering from bullying and abuse, and consolation and warmth to the elderly, “especially those who feel most alone.”
In his pleas to the Child of Bethlehem, Francis included the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, migrants’ situation and the return to their homes of “civilian and military prisoners of war and recent conflicts, and all those imprisoned for political reasons.”