As the first Latin-American pope, Pope Francis also encouraged Colombia to continue on the path of dialogue and reconciliation to end the world’s longest-running civil war and offered hope that Venezuela would take the necessary steps to put an end to current tensions.
He explained in his Christmas Day message that the power of the Child, Son of God and Son of Mary, is not the power of this world, based on might and wealth; it is the power of love.
It is the power which created the heavens and the earth, which gives life to all creation: to minerals, plants, and animals; it is the force which attracts man and woman, and makes them one flesh, one single existence; it is the power which gives new birth, pardons faults, reconciles enemies, and transforms evil into good. It is the power of God.
The pope asked everyone to pray for peace to men and women in the war-torn land of Syria, where far too much blood has been spilled. Above all in the city of Aleppo, site of the most awful battles in recent weeks, it is most urgent that assistance and support be guaranteed to the exhausted civil populace, with respect for humanitarian law.
He said that it is time for weapons to be still forever, and the international community to actively seek a negotiated solution so that civil coexistence can be restored in the country.