Pope prays for peace in Syria, Libya
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis is praying that peace processes for Syria and Libya will succeed in ending the suffering of the people of those countries.
Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the pope today denounced the ongoing conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine -- and also spoke of the "brutal acts of terrorism" that struck the French capital this year. And he said Christians being persecuted for their faith in many parts of the world "are our martyrs of today."
Francis delivered his annual "Urbi et Orbi (To the city and the world)" speech listing global hotspots and his prayers for an end to human suffering.
He also issued a Christmas Day indulgence for Catholics around the globe in hopes they spread the church's message of mercy in a world torn by "murderous evil," war and poverty. An indulgence is an ancient church tradition related to the forgiveness of sins.