Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Pope's Urbi et Orbi message asks for 'open door to faith'

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, December 26 - During the Pope's Urbi
et Orbi (To the City and the World) Christmas Day message,
Benedict XVI called on followers to "open the door of faith" and
appealed for an end to the conflict in Syria "which does not
spare even the defenseless and reaps innocent victims".
The 85-year-old pontiff called for peace between the
Israelis and Palestinians, the land where the "redeemer was
born", calling on both sides to "embark resolutely" on the path
of negotiation.
Pope Benedict also turned towards China and the challenges
facing its new leaders, expressing "hope that, in fulfilling
this task, they will esteem the contribution of the religions,
in respect for each, in such a way that they can help to build a
fraternal society for the benefit of the people and of the whole
world".
Relations between the Vatican and China have been strained
over the past year after Chinese authorities ordained a bishop
without the approval of the Vatican, and arrested a bishop who
criticized state interference in the church.
Benedict also called for and end to the continued violence
in Nigeria where "savage acts of terrorism continue to reap
victims, particularly among Christians".
The Islamist Boko Haram group, which wants to impose
Islamic law in Nigeria, has carried out a number of attacks on
churches over the last year, mostly in the majority Muslim north
of the country.
The ceremony and message is a central feature of Christmas
for the 1.1 billion Catholics around the world and is given in
65 languages.

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