Posted: 25.12.2023 16:07:00

Pope Francis urged to end wars in his Christmas Day appeal to believers

In his Christmas message at the midday ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing on Christmas Day, Pope Francis condemned wars that feed on the production of weapons, TASS reports


“Saying ‘yes’ to the Prince of Peace means saying ‘no’ to war, every war, the very mindset of war. War is always an aimless voyage, defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly. But to say ‘no’ to war, it’s necessary to say ‘no’ to weapons. Because if a person whose heart is dissatisfied and wounded finds an instrument of death in his hands, sooner or later he will use it. How can we talk about peace if the production, sale and trade of weapons are growing? Today, as in the times of Herod, the plans of evil, opposing the divine light, move in the shadow of hypocrisy and lies: how many murders are committed in deafening silence, without the knowledge of many!” said Francis, who, according to tradition, went out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

“People who want bread, not weapons, who are struggling to move forward and long for peace, do not know how much government money is allocated for armaments. But they should know! Let’s talk about it, let’s write about it so that we know interests and profits that move the threads of wars,” the Pontiff continued.

He remembered the tragedy in the Holy Land, where ‘the eyes and hearts of Christians are directed today, to Bethlehem’. Francis remembered the victims of the ‘horrible attack of October 7th’ and called for the liberation of those still being held hostage. “I plead for an end to the military operations with their appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims,” Francis continued. The Head of the Roman Catholic Church called for peace in Israel and Palestine, as well as in Syria and Yemen, and a settlement in Lebanon. “Looking at the baby Jesus, I pray for peace in Ukraine, we express our spiritual and human closeness to its embattled people. <...> May the day of complete reconciliation between Armenia and Azerbaijan approach. May this be facilitated by humanitarian initiatives, the return of those who left their homes, and respect for the religious traditions and places of worship of all communities,” the Pope said.