Pope Francis makes abortion reference in Christmas message

'Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born'

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 25 December 2016 13:49
Comments
Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter's basilica during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi' Christmas message to the city and the world, on 25 December, 2016 at St Peter's square in the Vatican
Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter's basilica during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi' Christmas message to the city and the world, on 25 December, 2016 at St Peter's square in the Vatican

Pope Francis used his Christmas message to urge Catholics around the world to feel compassion for those "not allowed to be born".

Speaking to tens of thousands of Catholics in Saint Peter's Square, the head of the Catholic Church asked worshippers to celebrate “the fragile simplicity of a small newborn”.

“Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one satiates their hunger, by those who do have not toys in their hands, but rather weapons,” he said, the AFP news agency reports.

Pope Francis at 80

During his speech to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, the Pontiff also wished wished Christmas peace for people scarred by wars and those who lost loved ones to terrorism.

He said terrorism is sowing "fear and death" in many cities and countries.

Francis cited those suffering through the Syrian war, especially during the "most awful battles" in Aleppo. He pressed the international community for a negotiated solution.

He also urged Israelis and Palestinians to abandon hate and revenge and lamented that in Nigeria "fundamentalist terrorism exploits even children," a reference to child suicide-bombers.

He went on to decry conflicts and tensions in Africa, eastern Ukraine, Myanmar, the Korean peninsula, Colombia and Venezuela.

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in