Bergoglio omits Christ from the Christmas message


Pope Francis: Christmas Means Saying ‘No’ to Weapons

ROME  —  Pope Francis made “peace” the theme of his 2023 Christmas message, urging the world to say “no” to weapons.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, the pontiff declared in his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) address, and saying “yes” to the Prince of Peace “means saying ‘no’ to war, to every war and to do so with courage, to the very mindset of war, an aimless voyage, a defeat without victors, an inexcusable folly.”

“To say ‘no’ to war means saying ‘no’ to weaponry,” the pope continued. “The human heart is weak and impulsive; if we find instruments of death in our hands, sooner or later we will use them.”

Moreover, he asked, “How can we even speak of peace, when arms production, sales and trade are on the rise?”

Francis went on to assert that people “desire not weapons but bread,” because they struggle to make ends meet and desire “only peace.”

These same people “have no idea how many public funds are being spent on arms. Yet that is something they ought to know!” he insisted.

Isaiah, who prophesied the Prince of Peace, looked forward to a day when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation,” he said, a day when men “will not learn war any more,” but instead “beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.”

In his message, the pope specifically addressed the conflict in Gaza, while also touching on armed struggles in other parts of the world.

May peace “come in Israel and Palestine, where war is devastating the lives of those peoples,” he said, while expressing particular affection for “the Christian communities of Gaza, the parish of Gaza, and the entire Holy Land.”

“My heart grieves for the victims of the abominable attack of 7 October last, and I reiterate my urgent appeal for the liberation of those still being held hostage,” he said. “I plead for an end to the military operations with their appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims, and call for a solution to the desperate humanitarian situation by an opening to the provision of humanitarian aid.”

The pope also called for a resolution to “the Palestinian question” through “sincere and persevering dialogue between the parties, sustained by strong political will and the support of the international community.”