Pope Francis mourns the rejection of peace and “futile logic of war” this Christmas

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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