Pope Francis has emphasized the crucial need for peace in a world increasingly threatened by conflicts. The Holy Father began by highlighting the significance of the word “peace,” resonating in the Christian feasts and echoing the angelic proclamation during the birth of Jesus and the risen Christ’s greeting.
Recalling the historic message delivered by Pope Pius XII on Christmas Eve 1944, Pope Francis expressed concern over the current global situation, pointing out a growing number of conflicts turning the world into what he termed a “third world war fought piecemeal” evolving into a genuine global conflict.
The Pope addressed specific concerns, notably the events in Palestine and Israel, expressing deep shock over the October 7 attack on the Israeli people and condemning terrorism and extremism. He appealed for a cease-fire, immediate release of hostages in Gaza, and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people. Pope Francis urged the international community to pursue a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, ensuring peace and security.
Turning his attention to Syria, the Holy Father called for constructive dialogue and new solutions to relieve the Syrian people from the impacts of international sanctions. Expressing profound distress for Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of addressing the complex situations in the region.
The Pope also expressed concern for the situation in Lebanon, calling for a resolution to the institutional stalemate and the prompt election of a new President. He urged the international community to focus on Myanmar, advocating efforts to offer hope and a dignified future to its youth while addressing the ongoing Rohingya humanitarian crisis.
Amid these complex challenges, Pope Francis acknowledged signs of hope, citing positive experiences during his journeys to Mongolia and Hungary. However, he expressed deep regret that the desired peace in Ukraine, after nearly two years of conflict with Russia, has not yet taken root in minds and hearts. The Holy Father emphasized the need to end the tragedy through negotiations and respect for international law.
Addressing the tense situation in the South Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Pope Francis called for urgent action, urging the signing of a peace treaty. He stressed the importance of finding a solution to the humanitarian crisis, facilitating the return of refugees to their homes with respect for religious places.