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Pope Francis Christmas address: ‘World ignoring huge tragedies’

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Posted: Monday, December 27, 2021. 5:20 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Pope Francis has warned the world generally and Catholics specifically not to be silent about crises happening globally and locally.

According to the BBC, in his annual Christmas Day address known as Urbi et Orbi (to the city [of Rome, where he is titular bishop] and to the world), the pope, 85, made note that the world is becoming so desensitized to crises and suffering that they are now happening while hardly being noticed, citing ongoing turmoil in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, as well as in areas of Africa, Europe and Asia.

Francis further warned that the effects of the pandemic threatened efforts to resolve conflicts on an international level, and socially had produced “a growing tendency to withdraw… to stop making an effort to encounter others and do things together”.

The pontiff lamented, “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.”

In his blessing he singled out the three-cornered conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, and the “unprecedented” economic and social crisis gripping Lebanon; Afghanistan, now back under the rule of the Taliban after 40 years of conflict; Myanmar, gripped by intolerance and violence against Christians; the Ukraine, Ethiopia and the Sahel, which has been a front line in the war against Islamist militancy for almost a decade.

At the Christmas Eve Mass at the Basilica, he urged followers to show more compassion towards the poor and to “value the little things in life”.

“On this night of love, may we have only one fear: that of offending God’s love, hurting him by despising the poor with our indifference,” he said.

 

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