Pope Francis started his Christmas message by quoting from the Bible, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government will be upon his shoulder; and his name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6)
The Holy Father also used his 2016 Christmas message, to decry suffering meted on the masses because of the economic ambitions of a few, rooted in “sheer greed and the idolatry of money, which leads to slavery.”
The Roman Catholic leader, also declared peace to war torn countries like Syria (especially Aleppo), Libya, Yemen, and Iraq. He did not forget about other parts of Africa that is ravaged by terrorism, sectarian violence, disease, and hunger:
Peace to the men and women in various parts of Africa, especially in Nigeria, where fundamentalist terrorism exploits even children in order to perpetrate horror and death. Peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so that divisions may be healed and all people of good will may strive to undertake the path of development and sharing, preferring the culture of dialogue to the mindset of conflict.
He also talked about “women and men of the beloved Holy Land, the land chosen and favored by God.” He implored Israelis and Palestinians to “have the courage and determination to write a new page of history.”
The pope’s Christmas Day message is known as “Urbi et Orbi”.