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Pope calls for peace in annual blessing

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Pope calls for peace in annual blessing

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Peace, hope and the environment were the watchwords for Pope Benedict in his annual Christmas Day message. He called for just solutions to conflicts in Darfur, Iraq, the Holy Land and many other crisis situations that he described as “frequently forgotten”.

The Pontiff also denounced terrorism and violence that victimised children and women. And he made another appeal for environmental protection, saying natural disasters were often caused by environmental upheaval.

Thousands of people packed into St Peter’s Square to hear the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing which the Pope delivered in 63 languages, including Guarani for the first time, the language used by indigenous peoples of South America.