On Christmas, pope calls for peace, help for world's children
Published: December 26, 2008
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Christmas with a call to peace and a plea on behalf of the world's children. In the face of violent conflicts, child exploitation and economic woes, the pope said, the birth of Jesus brings a light that "breaks through the gloom" and urges a mentality of solidarity with others. In his Christmas message, the pope said a more generous and sharing attitude was essential to overcoming global problems, including terrorism, human rights violations and apprehension about "an increasingly uncertain future ... even in affluent nations." He said, "If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart." The pope spoke from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, delivering a blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world) and pronouncing Christmas greetings in 64 languages. In English, he said: "May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Savior has been born for us."
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