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Pope urges fraternity among people all over world during Christmas message

Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter’s basilica
Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter’s basilica
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby arrives for the Christmas Day service at Canterbury Cathedralbeen

By Frances D'Emilio

Pope Francis has offered his Christmas wish for fraternity among people of different faiths, races or ideas.

He urged the world to put aside "partisan interests" to find a political solution to wars in Syria and Yemen and conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula.

Addressing tens of thousands of tourists and pilgrims in St Peter's Square yesterday, Francis said that the universal message of Christmas was that "God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters".

Without fraternity, the pope said "even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty".

He added that "our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness".

Francis made his appeal as trends toward nationalism, fuelling suspicion of migrants and refugees, have gained traction in much of the developed world.

The pope also called for dialogue among Israelis and Palestinians so they can "undertake a journey of peace".

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury used his Christmas Day sermon to highlight the importance of forgetting "tribalism" and "political advantage".

The Most Rev Justin Welby told worshipper that the "language of love" is spoken by God "for the poor and suffering and oppressed in every place at every time".

The archbishop told the congregation: "God's language of love is exclusive.

"It requires us to forget other languages of hatred, tribalism, rivalry, political advantage and of materialism, pride, greed, and so many more."

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