Dec 25, 2022 - World

Pope's Christmas message: World suffering from "famine of peace"

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis waves as he appears at the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the traditional Urbi et Orbi message and blessing on Dec. 25 in Vatican City. Photo: Isabella Bonotto/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Pope Francis in his annual Christmas message Sunday called for the end to conflicts and wars worldwide, saying the world was suffering from a "famine of peace"

What he's saying: "Indeed, we must acknowledge with sorrow that, even as the Prince of Peace is given to us, the icy winds of war continue to buffet humanity," Francis said during his annual “Urbi et Orbi” ("to the city and the world)" blessing and message at the Vatican.

  • The 86-year-old said that "attachment to power and money, pride, hypocrisy, falsehood" is blocking the path of peace.

The big picture: The pope, who has repeatedly called for an end to the war in Ukraine, urged the world to "see the faces of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are experiencing this Christmas in the dark and cold, far from their homes due to the devastation caused by 10 months of war."

  • “May the Lord inspire us to offer concrete gestures of solidarity to assist all those who are suffering, and may he enlighten the minds of those who have the power to silence the thunder of weapons and put an immediate end to this senseless war!” the pope said in a message that came just hours after air sirens went off across Ukraine, Reuters noted.
  • He also pointed to conflicts and humanitarian crises in Yemen, Syria, Haiti, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel region.
  • "We know that every war causes hunger and exploits food as a weapon, hindering its distribution to people already suffering," he said. "On this day, let us learn from the Prince of Peace and, starting with those who hold political responsibilities, commit ourselves to making food solely an instrument of peace."

Francis urged the Israelis and Palestinians to resume "dialogue and efforts to build mutual trust" as the region sees a surge in violence.

  • He also called on the world to "not forget the many displaced persons and refugees who knock at our door in search of some comfort, warmth, and food."
"Let us not forget the marginalized, those living alone, the orphans, the elderly – who are wisdom for their people – who risk being set aside, and prisoners, whom we regard solely for the mistakes they have made and not as our fellow men and women."
— Pope Francis

The bottom line: In a separate message during his homily of the Vatican's Christmas Eve mass, Francis urged the world to "not let this Christmas pass without doing something good.”

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