Addressing tens of thousands of people on Christmas Day in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said the universal message of Christmas was that “God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters”.
The Pope has encouraged fraternity among people of different faiths, races and ideas. He said people should come together and to see differences as a “source of richness”.
The Pope said without fraternity “even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty”.
He added: “Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness.”
As well as wishing for a dialogue among Israelis and Palestinians, he urged the world to put aside “partisan interests” to find a political solution to wars in Syria and Yemen, as well as the conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula.
At Christmas Eve mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday night, Pope Francis urged people to choose love over greed, saying: “An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when paradoxically a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive.”
The 82-year-old pope, who leads the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, said people should seek “not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity”.
The message continues a theme of supporting the world’s poor that has been central to Pope Francis’s five years in the role.