Pope Francis Speaks Urbi and Orbi and Calls for Guaranteeing Safety in the Middle East
In his traditional message “Urbi et Orbi” on St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Francis called on the international community on Wednesday to “ensure security in the Middle East.”
Francis spoke about the “numerous children who experience the war and conflicts in the Middle East and different countries around the world.” He especially wanted “comfort for the beloved Syrian people who have not yet seen the end of hostilities that have torn the country apart this decade.”
He called on governments and the international community to seek solutions that ensure the security and peaceful coexistence of the peoples of the region.
The birth of Jesus Christ must “illuminate the darkness in this world,” the Pope said. He regrets “the darkness in personal, family and social relationships” and in “economic, geopolitical and ecological conflicts.” According to the pope, the light of Christ is indeed stronger.
The pope spoke his Christmas message on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. He referred to the conflicts and unrest in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine and Latin America, and the victims of religious persecution, natural disasters, epidemics and terrorism.
He also talked about everyone who is forced to emigrate and undergo “indescribable forms of abuse, all kinds of slavery and torture in inhumane detention camps.”
The “Urbi et Orbi” is traditionally pronounced on Christmas and Easter, and after a papal election. The message also offers forgiveness for sins for those who attend or follow the ceremony live on the radio, television or the internet.