Tens of thousands flocked to St. Peter’s Square to hear the Pope’s traditional speech “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”).
ROME, metropolitan city of Rome – Pope Francis used his Christmas message on Sunday to lament the “icy winds of war” beating humanity and to make an impassioned plea for an immediate end to the war fight in Ukrainea 10-month-old conflict that he described as “pointless.”
At 12 p.m. local time, Francis delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and residents of Rome flocked to St. Peter’s Square to listen to the Pope and receive his blessing.
Francis also cited longstanding conflicts in the Middle East, including in the holy land“where violence and confrontations have increased in recent months, resulting in death and injury.” He also prayed for a lasting ceasefire in Yemen and for reconciliation in Iran and Myanmar.
He lamented that the “path of peace” at Christmas is blocked by societal forces that include “attachment to power and money, pride, hypocrisy, falsehood.”
“Indeed, we must acknowledge with sadness that even as the Prince of Peace is given to us, humanity continues to be whipped by the freezing winds of war,” Francis said.
“If we want it to be Christmas, the birth of Jesus and peace, let’s look to Bethlehem and contemplate the face of the child that was born for us,” he said. “And let’s see in that small and innocent face the faces of all those children who yearn for peace around the world.”
Francis urged the faithful to remember the millions of Ukrainians who were without electricity or heating on Sunday due to Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, as well as the millions who have been displaced since the February 24 invasion ordered by the Russian president Vladimir Putin was expelled abroad or within their country.
“Let us also 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,” the Pope said.
The Pope prayed that the Lord would “enlighten the minds of those who have the power to silence the thunder of arms and put an immediate end to this senseless war!”
“On this day, as we sit around a well-laid table, we must not take our eyes off Bethlehem, a city whose name means ‘House of Bread,’ but think of all those, especially the children, who are starving while they are Enormous amounts of food are wasted and resources are spent on weapons every day.”
“The war in Ukraine has further aggravated this situation and put entire peoples at risk, especially in Afghanistan and in the countries of the Horn of Africa‘ said Francis.
Early in the journey, sea mines and a Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian ports choked off supplies from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest producers of grain and corn. An agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations sought to direct the problem.
Gianfranco Stara contributed from Vatican City.
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/pope-christmas-message-2022/507-90c322bf-1eb5-422f-85fe-8fa5f8fe2fbf Pope’s Christmas message 2022: Icy winds of war hit humanity