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Pope Francis calls for peace in New Year message

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Christmas eve, at St. Peter's basilica at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020.   -  
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Vincenzo Pinto/AP


**Pope Francis has ushered in the New Year on Friday and delivered an appeal for world peace amid a challenging year. **

It's the first time he has been seen publically since he had cancelled other New Year services due to his sciatica.

"The painful events that marked humanity's journey last year, especially the pandemic, taught us how much it is necessary to take an interest in others' problems and to share their concerns," he said. 

"This attitude represents the path that leads to peace, because it fosters the construction of a society founded on fraternal relationships. Each of us, men and women of this time, is called to make peace."

Instead of giving his address to thousands of worshippers from a window overlooking St. Peter's, due to coronavirus measures, he spoke from a lectern in the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

“Life today is governed by war, by enmity, by many things that are destructive. We want peace. It is a gift,” he said.

"I wish you all a year of peace, a year of hope, with the protection of Maria, the Holy Mother of God,"

He said his customary sign-off, "don't forget to pray for me,'' and wished everyone "a good lunch."

"See you later," he concluded.

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