Pope Francis prays for COVID-19 pandemic’s end, healthcare for all on Christmas

WION Web Team
Rome Published: Dec 25, 2021, 08:38 PM(IST)

Pope Francis waves to the gathered faithfuls as he holds his Christmas Urbi et Orbi blessing in St Peter's Square at The Vatican on Saturday. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

At a time when numerous people are reeling under various kinds of crisis across the world, Pope Francis prayed for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Christmas, pope urged vaccines for the poor, healthcare for all and dialogue to prevail in resolving the different conflicts in the world. He gave the speech from the loggia of St Peter's Basilica

At a time when numerous people are reeling under various kinds of crisis across the world, Pope Francis prayed for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday.  

On Christmas, pope urged vaccines for the poor, healthcare for all and dialogue to prevail in resolving the different conflicts in the world.  

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Due to a record spike in Covid cases in Italy, only a few thousand people thronged St Peter's Square for Francis' annual ‘Urbi et Orbi' Christmas address.   

On the occasion, Francis rued ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and tensions in Ukraine and Ethiopia. He also lamented an 'unprecedented crisis' in Lebanon.   

Pope gave the speech from the loggia of St Peter's Basilica.   

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"We have become so used to them (conflicts) that immense tragedies are now being passed over in silence; we risk not hearing the cry of pain and distress of so many of our brothers and sisters," pope said.  

"Son of God, comfort the victims of violence against women, which has increased in this time of pandemic. Offer hope to young children and adolescents suffering from bullying and abuse," he said.  

The speech was delivered hours after a 'Midnight Mass' service was held for around 2,000 people.  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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