Pope Francis calls for responding to current crises with “brotherhood”

Lebanon, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine, South Sudan… François spoke of the fate of countries plagued by internal or external conflicts, or humanitarian crises.


As is customary, Pope Francis sent a universal urbi et orbi message, Friday December 25, Christmas Day, where Christians celebrate birth of Jesus of Nazareth, in Bethlehem. But contrary to custom, called into question by the Covid-19 pandemic, he did not do so from a loggia in front of a large crowd in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome. For health reasons it remained deserted and the head of the Catholic Church spoke by video, from inside the apostolic palace.

The pontiff noted that the planet was crossing a ” historic moment, marked by the ecological crisis, and by serious economic and social imbalances aggravated by the pandemic “. To face it, he wished that a fraternity be implemented “not made of fine words, abstract ideals, vague feelings”, but “capable of bringing together the other different from me” and ” to take care of it even if it is not of my family, of my ethnicity, of my religion “.

The Argentine pontiff wished that this frame of mind be extended” to those who have political and governmental responsibilities “so that they engage in” a renewed international cooperation “. The United States is not mentioned, but this message is also addressed to the Biden administration, which will take office on January 20, 2021, as the international options of the policy led by Donald Trump were viewed with a negative eye by the first pope of the American continent.

The pontiff asked that this international cooperation apply in the first place, in this period of pandemic, to health, “so that access to the vaccine [against the coronavirus] and care is guaranteed to all “. “Faced with a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect barriers. We are all in the same boat”, insisted François, who also quoted “the poor, the unemployed, the excluded, the migrant and the refugee “.

List of tragic situations

Like every pope at Christmas, he spoke of the fate of countries in the throes of conflicts, internal or external, or crises humanitarian. In its list of tragic situations, it should be noted that the Rohingyas of Burma appear, but not the Uighurs of China, a country with which the Vatican has established complex relations concerning the Catholic minority.

Pope Francis began by evoking the situation of several countries of the Middle East. This area is at the center of its current diplomatic activity. The Vatican recently announced that it will visit Iraq in March 2021, sanitary conditions permitting.

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