Pope Francis gave his traditional Christmas message and Blessing Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world), wishing all people peace and mentioning the conflicts in Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The text of the live video broadcast from the Hall of Benediction in St. Peter’s Basilica was published by Vatican News.

“May the Son of the Most High sustain the commitment of the international community and the countries involved to continue the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as in the eastern regions of Ukraine, and to foster dialogue as the sole path to peace and reconciliation,” Pope Francis said.

He also mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, describing the search for a vaccine against the disease as a light of hope.

“Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty regarding the pandemic, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines. But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all… I ask everyone – government leaders, businesses, international organisations – to foster cooperation and not competition, and to seek a solution for everyone: vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet,” the Pope said.

As a reminder, St. Peter’s Square, where tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gather every year, was empty this year due to quarantine restrictions.

Bohdan Marusyak

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