Covid, Ukraine, Syria: Pope calls for « dialogue » for Christmas and deplores « forgotten tragedies »


« In these times of pandemic », « our ability to maintain social relations is severely tested, the tendency is increasing to withdraw into oneself », declared the Sovereign Pontiff this Saturday.

Pope Francis called on Saturday for « dialogue » in the face of the « temptation to withdraw into oneself » during his traditional Christmas message, during which he insisted on the « forgotten » conflicts, especially in Syria and Yemen.

Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Ethiopia, Sudan, Sahel … As usual, the Argentine pontiff gave himself to a vast overview of the conflicts of the planet and of the economic and social consequences of the health crisis , for this second Christmas in times of Covid.

« In these times of pandemic », « our ability to maintain social relations is strained, the tendency is growing to fold in on oneself, to go it alone », including « at the international level », declared the sovereign pontiff in front of the faithful gathered in the rain on St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

« We still see a lot of conflicts, crises and contradictions that never seem to end, and we hardly notice them anymore » as’ we are used to them ‘, with the’ risk of not hearing the cry of pain and despair of so many of our brothers and sisters, ”he regretted.

« Forgotten tragedies »

The 85-year-old Pope has especially insisted on the « immense tragedies » and « forgotten » which are played out in Syria and Yemen, in the grip of conflicts which made « many victims and an incalculable number of refugees ».

« We hear the cry of children rising from Yemen where a terrible tragedy, forgotten by everyone, has been unfolding in silence for years, killing people every day, » he said.

François also called « not to let the metastases of a gangrenous conflict spread » in Ukraine, where tensions between Kiev and Moscow raise fears of a military escalation.

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