On Christmas, Pope Calls for New Peace Talks

Benedict XVI Prays for an End to Bloodshed in Syria

A Message to the Faithful: In his Christmas Day address, Pope Benedict XVI, who leads the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, called for new peace talks and increased humanitarian aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Getty Images
A Message to the Faithful: In his Christmas Day address, Pope Benedict XVI, who leads the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, called for new peace talks and increased humanitarian aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

By Forward Staff

Published December 25, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Christmas message from St. Peter’s Basilica, called for renewed talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and for an end to the months of violence in Syria.

“May the Prince of Peace grant peace and stability to that Land where he chose to come into the world, and encourage the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians,” the 84-year-old pontiff told the tens of thousands of people who filled the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day. “May he bring an end to the violence in Syria, where so much blood has already been shed.”

In his televised address, which is watched by millions around the world, the pope also called on the international community to provide more aid to those suffering from hunger and displacement in the Horn of Africa, as well as to victims of the recent floods in Southeast Asia.

Pope Benedict XVI finished his address, delivered in Italian, by offering Christmas greetings in 65 languages, including Hebrew and Arabic.

The pope’s address made no reference to a Christmas Day bomb blast that killed at least 25 people inside a Catholic Church, near Lagos, Nigeria. But the Vatican issued a statement condemning the bombing, and another church bombing in the northwest city of Jos, as acts of “blind hatred.” A radical Muslim sect known as Boko Haram is claiming responsibility for the attacks, The Associated Press is reporting.

Read the full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas Day message here.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.