Pope Francis has warned that the world is ignoring huge tragedies in his annual Christmas message this year.
Pope Francis has warned that the world is becoming so desensitised to huge tragedies and suffering in his annual Christmas message this year, saying that they are hardly being noticed.
The pontiff said of the ongoing crisis in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, as well as in areas of Africa, Europe and Asia as well as the Covid pandemic threatening efforts to resolve international conflict.
He gave his message outdoors again this year after his speech was made indoors in 2020.
Thousands of Catholics wore masks to watch the speech in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican as he delivered his Urbi et Orbi address from the balcony of the Basilica.
Pope Francis warned about the growing consequences of the pandemic, saying there was “a growing tendency to withdraw… to stop making an effort to encounter others and do things together.”
“On the international level too there is the risk of avoiding dialogue, the risk that this complex crisis will lead to taking shortcuts rather than setting out on the longer path” to resolve conflicts, he said.
“We continue to witness a growing number of conflicts, crises and disagreements.”
“These never seem to end and by now we hardly even notice them.”
“We have become so used to them that immense tragedies are being passed over in silence.”
He spoke of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, saying: “Where an enormous tragedy overlooked by everyone has silently gone on for years.”
He also asked people to keep in mind the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, and the “unprecedented” economic and social crisis in Lebanon.
The Pope asked God to comfort the people of Afghanistan “who for more than 40 years have been sorely tested by conflicts,” and to “sustain the people of Myanmar where intolerance and violence not infrequently target the Christian community and its places of worship.”
He also prayed for peace in other areas around the world, including Ukraine, Ethiopia and the Sahel, which has been at war against Islamist militancy for nearly a decade.
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