Pope decries ‘senseless’ war in Ukraine in Christmas Day message

(Photo: Vatican News)

The Pope has used his Christmas Day message to call for peace and an end to the “senseless” war in Ukraine.

Pope Francis lamented the “icy winds of war” buffeting humanity and said that the fighting in Ukraine had only made the global food situation more precarious because of the weaponisation of food distribution.

This, he said, has led to more hunger, especially in places like Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa which is facing famine. 

He expressed sadness for those “who go hungry while huge amounts of food daily go to waste and resources are being spent on weapons”.

“The war in Ukraine has further aggravated this situation, putting entire peoples at risk of famine, especially in Afghanistan and in the countries of the Horn of Africa,” he said.

“We know that every war causes hunger and exploits food as a weapon, hindering its distribution to people already suffering.”

He added, “On this day, let us learn from the Prince of Peace and, starting with those who hold political responsibilities, commit ourselves to making food solely an instrument of peace.”

The Pope also spoke of “a grave famine of peace also in other regions and other theatres of this Third World War”, especially Syria and the Middle East. 

He called for renewed dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians amid increasing tensions in the Holy Land. 

“May the Child Jesus sustain the Christian communities living in the Middle East, so that each of those countries can experience the beauty of fraternal coexistence between individuals of different faiths,” he said. 

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