SHAFAQNA– Pope Francis, in his Christmas message to the world emphasized fraternity “among individuals of every nation and culture”, and said “Our differences are a source of richness”.
“My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture. Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another. Fraternity among persons of different religions,” Pope said during the “Urbi et Orbi,” or “to the city and the world” on Tuesday.
He added, “Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness.”
The pope, who has been an ardent defender of migrants in a period when speaking in their defense has largely fallen out of fashion, specifically addressed the scars of war in Africa, where “millions of persons are refugees or displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance and food security.”
The pontiff added that he hoped that Israelis and Palestinians would find common ground and renew peace talks.
“May this Christmas help us to rediscover the bonds of fraternity linking us together as individuals and joining all peoples. May it enable Israelis and Palestinians to resume dialogue and undertake a journey of peace that can put an end to a conflict that for over seventy years has rent the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love,” he said.
Pope Francis specifically prayed for Syria and Yemen, where long-standing conflicts have bred humanitarian disasters and devastated civilian life.
“May the international community work decisively for a political solution that can put aside divisions and partisan interests, so that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country,” he said, CNN mentioned.
The pope’s appeals for peace and fraternity — including toward those suffering the “ideological, cultural and economic forms of colonization” and from “hunger and the lack of educational and health care services” — were in keeping with his traditional Christmas prayers. He also voiced concern for persecuted Christian minorities in countries or regions where the faithful have been killed or had their religious freedom suppressed.
“Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us,” the pope said on Tuesday, “our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty”, nytimes reported.
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