He said he hoped that international players of “good will” would help resume a dialogue so that “a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders.”
The Holy See has expressed criticism of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize the contested holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and has urged caution about inflaming religious tensions there.
Francis, who has spoken with great concern about the sharpening language between President Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, prayed “that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean Peninsula, and that mutual trust may increase in the interest of the world as a whole.”
He urged the world to contemplate the children of African nations including South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, and he recalled the children he met in his recent visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
That trip was overshadowed in large part by the question of whether he would address the persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority. (He ultimately did, but only after leaving Myanmar.) Speaking on Christmas Day, he said he hoped the international community would “not cease to work to ensure that the dignity of the minority groups present in the region is adequately protected.”
Picking up on remarks he made at Christmas Eve Mass that served as a papal mission statement, Francis again spoke out for migrants and the “many children forced to leave their countries to travel alone in inhuman conditions, and who become an easy target for human traffickers.”