Pope Francis offered a Christmas message of hope against conflict around the world as headdressed tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans gathered in St. Peter's Square for the traditional ``Urbi et Orbi'' (``to the city and to the world'') Christmas message.
"There is darkness in human hearts but the light of Christ is greater... there is darkness in economic, geopolitical and ecological conflicts, but greater still is the light of Christ," Francis said.
In his message, Francis spoke about children suffering from war and spoke of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
"I think of the children in Yemen," the pontiff said.
He spoke about protests in Lebanon and the need for aid in Venezuela.
"May he encourage the beloved Venezuelan people... and ensure they receive the aid they need," the pontiff said.
Christmas Eve mass
Earlier, Pope Francis spoke of gratitude and unconditional love at his Christmas Eve mass.
In an allusion that had been widely interpreted as referring to church scandals — in particular, related to sexual abuse — the Pope said that God loves "even the worst of us".
He said that people should not wait for the "Church to be perfect" to "love her".