Photo: Handout / Observatory Romano / Agence France-Presse
The pontiff delivered Sunday a homily of Christmas tour to the reception of migrants.
Pope Francis has placed on Monday at the heart of her Christmas message with the children who are suffering in the Middle East and in the world, and called for ” peace in Jerusalem and throughout the holy Land.”
In front of 50 000 people came to St Peter’s square to hear his message and receive the traditional blessing “Urbi et orbi” (” to the city and to the world “), the pope of argentina has hoped that” a resumption of dialogue to prevail ” to ” reach a negotiated solution which allows the peaceful coexistence of two States.”
After the decision of the us president, Donald Trump, to recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel, the pope had already recently called for “respect for the status quo” in Jerusalem, in conformity with resolutions of the united Nations.
The ad american 6 December has sparked protests almost daily in the palestinian Territories and terni, the feast of Christmas for the christians of the region.
The ravages of war
A few hundreds of Palestinians and foreign tourists, braved a cold wind, near the church of the Nativity built on the site where, according to tradition, Mary gave birth to Jesus, to watch a parade of scouts. “It is sad, people go out little “, told AFP Nahil Banoura, a Palestinian christian.
“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer due to the escalation of tension between Israelis and Palestinians “, called on Monday from the balcony of St. Peter’s basilica, the representative of God in the eyes of the 1.3 billion catholics.
In his tour d’horizon of the world, the pope has also referred to the young Syrian, ” still marked by the war “, hoping that Syria will commit to ” reconstruct the social fabric regardless of ethnicity and religion “.
He also talked about the children of Iraq, a country “still injured and divided by the hostilities” of the last fifteen years, but also of the Yemen “in which there is a conflict largely forgotten” when the population suffers hunger.
In reference to the arms race of north Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he said pray, ” that in the Korean peninsula, the oppositions can be overcome and that mutual trust can develop in the interest of the whole world “.
His call for dialogue comes at a time when North Korea has called the Sunday of” act of war ” the new sanctions voted by the security Council of the united nations, reaffirming that they do would discourage not to conduct its nuclear and missile programs.
Francis also spoke about the refugees, a theme he had already declined during his homily for the vigil of Christmas. On Monday, he was alarmed of the many minors traveling alone in inhuman conditions, easy prey for traffickers in human beings “.
Another great highlight of the Christmas celebrations, midnight mass in the ancient Bethlehem, west bank, occupied palestinian territory by Israel, had not escaped the tensions of the time.
Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the high dignitary of the roman catholic of the middle East who celebrated the mass, urged to the courage of the christians, “concerned and may be frightened of the decrease of [their] number” in a region in full tumult.
He deviated from his planned speech to criticize the decision of Donald Trump, followed it up Sunday by Guatemala.
In Syria and Iraq, two countries where the group islamic State (EI) has been cast in 2017 almost all of the territories that he had conquered, the christian minorities have been able to reconnect with the celebration of Christmas.
This is the case in Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq, the recovery in the group AR in July. Even if only a small part of the christians of this city is back, Christmas songs were re-echoed in St. Paul’s church, where curtains red and white hiding in part the scars of the war.
The situation of christians in the Middle East, however, remains very precarious, as in Egypt, where the copts, who celebrate Christmas on 6 January, are regularly the victims of attacks. Friday, a church in Cairo was attacked by hundreds of individuals who are taken to the faithful before the intervention of the security forces.
In his traditional Christmas message, queen Elizabeth II, for its part, paid tribute to the victims of the attacks occurred in the United Kingdom in 2017. On a more personal note, the monarch of 91-year-old spoke of his couple, which celebrated 70 years of marriage in November, and paid tribute to her husband, prince Philip, at the age of 96 years, who retired this summer.
A Femen rushed into the nativity scene in the Vatican
Two hours before the traditional blessing of pope Francis Christmas day, Femen went topless in the giant nativity scene in the Vatican, located in place Saint-Pierre, and seized the statuette of the child Jesus by shouting in English ” God is woman ! “The militant Ukrainian 25-year-old has been arrested by the local authorities for” resistance and injury to a representative of the public order, offences to religious denominations, attempted theft and obscene acts in a public place.” On the negatives, we see a police officer wearing a kepi and a long cape to the continuation of the Ukrainian, who has had time to show highlights on its chest the hashtag #METOO follow-up of the inscription “Assaulted by Church” (attacked by the Church). A similar incident had taken place on December 25, 2014 at the same place, at the initiative of a Ukrainian who had written on his chest in black marker ” God is woman “.