Hope is the virtue needed to approach the coming year, especially when the looming threat of war surrounds a humanity scarred by violence, Pope Francis said.
During his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the pope said that with heightened tensions and acts of violence on the rise, the “new year does not seem to be marked by encouraging signs”.
Nevertheless, acknowledging the challenges confronting the world today and courageously finding ways to resolve them open a path to hope, he said in his speech today, 9th January.
“Precisely in light of these situations, we cannot give up hope,” the pope said. “And hope requires courage. It means acknowledging that evil, suffering and death will not have the last word and that even the most complex questions can and must be faced and resolved.”
Among the most “troubling” conflicts emerging, he noted, are the increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, which not only compromise the efforts to rebuild Iraq, but also set “the groundwork for a vaster conflict that all of us would want to avert”.
“I therefore renew my appeal that all the interested parties avoid an escalation of the conflict and keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-restraint, in full respect of international law,” he said.
Picture: Pope Francis addresses diplomats accredited to the Holy See during an audience for the traditional exchange of new year’s greetings in the Sala Regia at the Vatican today, 9th January 2020. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters pool).