Pope prays for stability in his Christmas message

Pope Benedict prayed on Christmas for peace and stability around the world and called for an end to the many conflicts, which, he said, stain the earth with blood. The Vatican also condemned the Sunday bomb blasts at churches in Nigeria.

In his traditional Christmas message, Pope Benedict called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria, where he said, so much blood has already been shed. He urged full reconciliation and stability in Iraq and Afghanistan and called for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.

The pope delivered his message “to the city and to the world” from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, overlooking a piazza packed with thousands of jubilant tourists and pilgrims.

He prayed that the Lord come to the aid of the world torn by so many conflicts. He then gave his blessing in dozens of languages.

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