Pope Francis voiced sadness over the rejection of peace and ongoing conflict during his Christmas Mass address in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica.
The central message: The Pope’s heart is with those suffering in Bethlehem, where he noted the good of God is being overshadowed by the conflict in Gaza.
* The Pope drew comparisons between worldly power’s quest for might, fame, and glory and how “the King of history chooses the way of littleness.”
* He stated that God “Does not eliminate injustice from above by a show of power, but from below, by a show of love.”
* Pope Francis has pleaded multiple times for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas since the conflict started in October.
Contrasting viewpoints: Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that Israel’s war against “barbarians” will prevail.
* This statement was made after a weekend of bloodshed where Israeli forces lost 14 soldiers while fighting in Gaza.
On the ground: In Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, Christmas celebrations were cancelled due to the war.
* Manger Square, usually bustling with tourists during Christmas, was shut down.
* Greater than 20,000 Palestinian lives, 153 Israeli soldiers, and 1,200 Israeli civilians have been lost since the fighting began on Oct. 7.
* Hana Haniyeh, the mayor of Bethlehem, expressed “sadness, grief and anger” about the situation in Gaza during her Christmas message.
View original article on NPR
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