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!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • 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.