Pope Francis Calls for Peace, Justice in U.N. Speech
Due to the aggravation of the disease, the pontiff was forced to miss the New Year services
Pope Francis reappeared in public on Friday, January 1, after a chronic illness forced him to skip New Year’s church service.. The Pontiff did not mention his illness when he delivered his traditional New Year’s address today.
Pope Francis was unable to attend services on Thursday and Friday mornings due to sciatica, a relatively common condition that causes pain along the sciatic nerve in the lower back and legs..
For the first time since becoming pontiff in 2013, Francis, who turned 84 last month, is believed to have been unable to lead a large worship service at the Vatican for health reasons. Today, however, he showed no signs of discomfort when he spoke and prayed while standing at the pulpit in the library of the Vatican Apostolic Palace..
“Today’s life is ruled by war, enmity and many destructive things. We want peace. This is a gift, “said the head of the Roman Catholic Church, adding that the response to the global coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the importance of sharing the burden between countries and peoples..
“The painful events that marked the path of humankind last year, especially the pandemic, taught us how necessary it is to take an interest in the problems of others and share their concerns,” he said..
The midday blessing is usually given from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, but this time it was moved indoors to prevent crowds and limit the spread of COVID-19..
Francis highlighted his concern over the situation in Yemen. The country has been devastated by six years of violence and confrontation between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi movement linked to Iran. At least 22 people were killed in the attack on Aden airport on Wednesday 30 December. The attack triggered a series of coalition air raids in response.
“I express sadness and dismay at the further escalation of violence in Yemen, which is leading to the death of large numbers of innocent people,” said Pope Francis. “Let’s think about the hungry children of Yemen, denied access to education and medicine.”.
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