For Christmas, the Pope calls for “dialogue” and deplores the “forgotten tragedies”

Pope Francis called on Saturday for “dialogue” in the face of the “temptation to withdraw into oneself” during his traditional Christmas message, during which he insisted on the “forgotten” conflicts, especially in Syria and Yemen.

Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Ethiopia, Sudan, Sahel … As usual, the Argentine pontiff gave an overview of the conflicts of the planet and the economic and social consequences of the health crisis, for this second Christmas marked by the Covid-19.

“In these times of pandemic”, “our ability to maintain social relations is strained, the tendency is increasing to withdraw into oneself, to go it alone”, including “at the international level”, declared the sovereign. pontiff in front of several hundred faithful gathered in the rain on Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

“We still see a lot of conflicts, crises and contradictions that never seem to end, and we hardly notice them anymore” as “we are used to them”, with the “risk of not hearing the cry of pain and despair of so many of our brothers and sisters, ”he regretted.

Among the dozen of countries cited, the 85-year-old Pope has especially insisted on the “immense tragedies” and “forgotten” which are played out in Syria and Yemen, in the grip of conflicts which made “many victims and an incalculable number. of refugees ”.

“We hear the cry of children rising from Yemen where a terrible tragedy, forgotten by everyone, has been unfolding in silence for years, killing people every day,” he said.

François also called for “not to let the metastases of a gangrenous conflict spread” in Ukraine, where tensions between Kiev and Moscow raise fears of a military escalation. And mentioned Burma “where intolerance and violence often also affect the Christian community and places of worship”.

The Pope prayed for “the victims of violence against women” as well as “children and adolescents victims of harassment and abuse”, at the end of a year again marked by scandals on child crime within the ‘Church.

Criticizing “indifference” to the “tragedy of migrants”, he called for “the necessary treatments, including vaccines, can reach the poorest populations”, as he had already done on several occasions.

This is the first urbi et orbi blessing on Saint Peter’s Square since the start of the pandemic. In 2020, the Pope read his message inside the Apostolic Palace due to health restrictions.

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