In the Christmas message, Pope Francis shines a light on the plight of children caught up in wars and calls for COVID vaccines to be available to everyone.
Pope Francis highlighted the plight of children caught up in wars, identifying the victims in Syria, Yemen and Iraq in his Christmas message.
“On this day, when the word of God has become a child, let us turn our gaze to the many, too many, children around the world, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen who are still paying the high price of war.” , he said.
“May their faces touch the conscience of all men and women of good will, so that the causes of conflicts can be addressed and courageous efforts can be made to build a future of peace,” he said.
Pope Francis also called on authorities to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to all, insisting that those first in line should be the most vulnerable and needy, regardless of who holds the patent for the vaccines.
“Vaccines for everyone, especially the most vulnerable and needy,” who should be the first, said Francis in spontaneous remarks from his prepared text, calling the development of these vaccines “a light of hope ”for the world.
“We cannot let closed nationalisms prevent us from living as the true human family that we are,” the Pope said.
He called on the leaders of nations, businesses and international organizations to “promote cooperation, not competition, and seek a solution for all”.
Amid a wave of coronavirus infections this fall in Italy, Francis has broken with tradition for Christmas.
Instead of delivering his speech “Urbi et Orbi” – Latin for “to the city and to the world” – from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Square, he read it from inside a cavernous room in the Palace. apostolic, flanked by two Christmas trees with flashing lights.
Normally, tens of thousands of people would have gathered in St. Peter’s Square to receive the Pope’s Christmas blessing and speech.
But Italian measures to try to contain infections during the holidays allow people to leave their homes at Christmas for urgent reasons only such as work, health, visiting relatives or exercising near their homes.
The impact of the pandemic on life has dominated Francis’ reflections over the past year.
“At this moment in history, marked by the ecological crisis and the serious economic and social imbalances that the coronavirus pandemic only worsens, it is all the more important for us to recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters”, François said.
Brotherhood and compassion apply to people “even if they do not belong to my family, my ethnic group or my religion,” he said.
Francis prayed that the birth of Jesus would inspire people to be “generous, supportive and helpful” to those in need, including those who are struggling with “the economic effects of the pandemic and women who have suffered from violence. household during these months of lockdown ”.