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Pope calls on all, including atheists, to become peacemakers

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:31

Dec. 25 - Pope Francis, delivering his first Christmas message, urges atheists to unite with believers to end wars ''shattering'' countless lives around the globe. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Applause rings through St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis prepares to deliver his first Christmas address as the leader of the Roman Catholic church. He decried the cost of war and called on atheists to unite with believers of all religions to work for peace. He spoke of Syria and other countries engulfed in conflict. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid." He noted that people of other religions are also asking for peace and - departing from his prepared text - he urged atheists to join forces with believers. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "I invite even non-believers to desire peace. (Join us) with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace." The thread running through the message was that individuals had a role in promoting peace, either with their neighbor or between nations. He wrapped up his message wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

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Pope calls on all, including atheists, to become peacemakers

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:31