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Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands
December 26th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands

In his traditional Christmas message delivered Saturday to crowds braving winter's chill, Pope Benedict XVI urged peace in the Middle East and asked for God's comfort upon beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

The annual "To the City and the World address, known in Latin as "Urbi et Orbi," mentioned other global hot spots.

The pope wished for security in places overcome by conflict like Somalia, Sudan's Darfur region, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula and those nations like Haiti that are grappling with the consequences of disease and natural disaster.

"May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence," Benedict said in the speech delivered in 64 languages, from English and Latin to Maori and Maltese.

Read the full story of the Pope's Christmas message here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Thanks for the year 2010 with it's sore and happy moments and we welcome a new year 2011 which no one is aware what it contains for us other than God Allah whom I certify for being no other God than Him and I certify that Muhammed is his messenger and that he was sent as the messenger of mercy and in mercy to the worlds..God had created negativity by Satan and positivity through Messengers as evil and good were created for testing faith of man and confidence "Iman" then there is always in between both whom we call stray..while the evil is the cursed one..
    Now look at it this way Black & White has Gray in between!
    Nagative & Posative
    Evil & Good
    Dark & Light
    We have learnt from birds and animals many things of science? So haven't we asked our selves why night flying insects are attracted to the light? Or maybe should ask our selves why were ancient nations worshiped the Sun the Moon the Stars the fire?? They new they should be looking for light but have become stray time after time after every messenger they become stray from the Right Straight Path that was tought to Adam down to all Prophets and Messengers of God. We were told that God Allah has tought Adam all his names meaning the Knowldge and the Message for Mankind to live with on earth which only proves there was a spoken language and since teaching all that means there was writings then there might have been scriptures from such length of time changing hands father to son and hand to hand their are verses where God Allah mentioned teaching to Adam and to the prophets&messengers through people of knowldge and the holy spirit ..

    January 1, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  2. Muneef

    PLEASED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WISH YOU HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011
    MAY GOD BRING IT FOR US FULL OF JOY, HAPPINESS, HEALTH, WEALTH AND MUCH MORE SUCCESS...

    Just wonder if there will be space for PEACE IN YEAR 2011???
     

    December 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Muneef

      I think we all need a laugh !!!!!
      A woman asks man who is traveling with six children,
      "Are all these kids yours?"*
      The man replies, "No, I work in a condom factory and these
      are customer complaints".

      Nominated as the best short joke this year...
      A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath.
      Mom" he asked, "are these my brains?"
      "Not yet," she replied.

      I dialed a number and got the following recording:** **
      "I am not available right now, but
      Thank you for caring enough to call.
      I am making some changes in my life.
      Please leave a message after the
      Beep. If I do not return your call,
      You are one of the changes." for the New Year 2011...

      December 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  3. Laurie

    Ezekiel 13
    10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”

    13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it[b] falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign LORD.”’

    December 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Very nice that was I liked it but which wall that was ?
      Could that be the western wall of Jerusalem ?

      But isn't that like peace intuitive that is proposed for the MidEast?
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/30/new-app-takes-users-to-western-wall/#comment-205076

      December 31, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  4. Muneef

    CatholicMom.

    Think this is just close to subject we had talked about ;

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/30/new-app-takes-users-to-western-wall/#comment-205063

    December 30, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  5. Muneef

    The sons of Israel never listened to their Prophet and Messenger of God or to any one else after him kindly read the how stubborn they were and still are;
    Start with Moses PBUH

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/musa.htm

    December 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Wouldn't you want to read what has been said about Jesus PBUH in the Holy Quran?

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/isa.htm

    December 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Muneef

    CatholicMom.
    Wonder if the church was able to find the eldest made gospels that mentioned truth about Jesus that is disputed with Muslims about such as not being the son og God or not been crucified, would you think the church will bring that forward and declare their mistake or they would rather make it disappear to keep the faith as it is even if considered stray?? How would we know if already found and made disappear or not yet??

    December 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      It was Jesus the Christ who inspired the gospels to be written by men; the Bible is the Word of God. Jesus Christ founded His Church and Sacraments before ascending into Heaven. It is His Church that chose the Books which were the true Books to be held in honor as the Bible and they did not miss any that were the true Books…

      God does not found His Church and then commission them the task of discerning the True Books for us and have the Church fail in this respect….recall that Jesus the Christ promised grace, guidance, and guarding from evil. We believe all of God’s promises to be True. Thus the Church did not fail in choosing the correct Books. We have faith and trust in the Word of God proclaimed by His Church.

      December 31, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Muneef

      You just don't get it! The bible is true because the rcc says it's true and no one is allowed to question the truth of the bible and the rcc. You must ignore the facts that the rcc has changed it's position numerous times on numerous aspects (I understand prost-itutes may now use condoms...) and that there are numerous christian bibles and cults. Yes, it is like "The Wizard of Oz" -please ignore the man (pope-a-dope) behind the curtain...

      December 31, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Muneef

      CatholicMom.
      Was not meaning being wrong or false books but was saying translation from language to other beside explanation might had caused to miss the correct straight path...? As same had happened to Islam where many branches had followed scholars writings and left the base of Islam "The Quran" and the Sunna and followed Imams and maybe prayed to them more than God and his Messenger as many stated but only God knows how truthful that is...?! But surely that was behind the Islam having many branches when it is One God, One Holy Book, One Prophet and messenger but still they were divided in total disputed understandings...!!!

      December 31, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Muneef

      HotAirAce.

      Thanks for saving my breath and guess you are right each sees his as being the right thing...! Although my saying was that God has only sent another scriptures in different language at latter stage only for sake of correcting what might went wrong with the ones before...this holy book only came to correct their knowledge about what is right or what has happened before..
      The only sufferance is that we see prophets and messengers of God as pure and holy while as to some here they see them as sinful or brought shame...?
      In such a case who is right and who is wrong ? A good example or bad example should we pass to our people to follow?

      December 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      HotAirAce.

      I meant by that which we call the israelities which been inserted here and there for even the Hadith was a victim of same based on which as well might be behind Islam having became or grew in to many branches....!?!

      December 31, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef, you said, ‘Although my saying was that God has only sent another scriptures in different language at latter stage only for sake of correcting what might went wrong with the ones before...this holy book only came to correct their knowledge about what is right or what has happened before..’
      Since Scripture is the Word of God, He would not have allowed anything to have gone wrong with it as He inspired men to write and He promised to guide and guard His Truth…there would be no need to ‘correct knowledge’ because His Word would not be in error. Perhaps men interpret it incorrectly but that would be out of pride that this happens, not because there is anything wrong with God’s Word.

      January 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  8. Muneef

    As Muslims we are of the faith of Prophet Abraham PBUH and the practice of Muhammed PBUH.

    Read about the faith of all faiths;
    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/ibrahim.htm

    December 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  9. Muneef

    For stories of the Holy Prophets of God kindly visit the link surely you will enjoy reading;
    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/

    December 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  10. Muneef

    An-Nahl sura16:
    When thou dost read the Qur'an, seek Allah's protection from Satan the Rejected one. (98) No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. (99) His authority is over those only who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah. (100)

    December 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  11. Muneef

    An-Nahl sura 16:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    One day We shall raise from all peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide a Mercy and Glad Tidings to Muslims. (89) Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberty to kith and kin, and He for-bids all sha-meful deeds, and injus-tice and rebel-lion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition. (90) Fulfil the covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them; indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do. (91) And be not like a woman who breaks into untwisted strands the yarn she has spun, after it has become strong. Nor take your oaths to practise de-cep-tion between yourselves, lest one party should be more numerous than another: for Allah will test you by this; and on the Day of Judgment He will certainly make clear to you (the truth of) that wherein ye disagree. (92) If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: but He leaves straying whom He pleases and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions. (93).

    December 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan

    Is that so?

    http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=120

    December 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  13. Muneef

    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled; He said: "I will make thee an Imam to the nations." He pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He answered: "But my promise is not within the reach of evil-doers." (124) Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma`il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round or use it as a retreat or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). (125) And remember Abraham said: "My Lord make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits―such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day." He said: "(Yea) and such as reject faith―for a while will I grant them their pleasure, but will soon drive them to the torment of fire―an evil destination (indeed)!" (126) And remember Abraham and Isma`il raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer): "Our Lord! accept (this service) from us; for thou art the All-Hearing the All-Knowing. (127) "Our Lord! Make of us Muslims bowing to Thy (Will) and of our progeny a people Muslim bowing to Thy (Will) and show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning Most-Merciful. (128) "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own who shall re-he-ar-se Thy Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, and purify them; for Thou art the Exalted in Might the Wise." (129) And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: and he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous. (130) Behold! His Lord said to him: "Submit (thy will to Me)" He said: "I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the universe." (131) And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons and so did Jacob; "O my sons! Allah hath chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the state of submission (to Allah)." (132) Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship thy God and the God of thy fathers―of Abraham Isma`il and Isaac,―the one (true) God to Him we bow (in Islam)." (133) That was a People that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did and ye of what ye do! of their merits there is no question in your case! (134) They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (to salvation)." Say thou: "Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham is True, and he joined not gods with Allah." (135) Say ye: "We believe, in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham Isma`il Isaac Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord we make no difference between one and another of them and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." (136) So if they believe as ye believe they are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are in schism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearing the All- Knowing. (137).

    December 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Muneef

    CatholicMom,
    Thank you for your information about the Prayers Direction which we call Qiblah, all three faiths were directing to Jerusalem until the following verses can upon Prophet Muhammed PBUH the Islamic Qiblah changed to Mecca...

    Al-Baqara
    We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens; now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; wherever ye are turn your faces in that direction. The people of the book know well that that is the truth from their Lord nor is Allah unmindful of what they do. (144) Even if thou wert to bring to the people of the Book all the signs (together) they would not follow thy Qiblah; nor art thou going to follow their Qiblah; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qiblah. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, wert to follow their (vain) desires―then wert thou indeed (clearly) in the wrong. (145) The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know. (146) The truth is from thy Lord so be not at all in doubt. (147) To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah hath power over all things. (148) From whencesoever thou startest forth, turn thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from thy Lord. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do. (149) So from whencesoever thou startest forth turn thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; and wheresoever ye are turn your face thither That there be no ground of dispute against you among the people Except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so fear them not but fear Me; and that I may complete My favors on you and ye may (consent to) be guided. (150) A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own rehearsing to you Our signs, and purifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and wisdom, and in new Knowledge. (151) Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and reject not faith. (152) O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (153) And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: "They are dead." Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. (154) Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.― (155) Who say: when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah we belong and to Him is our return." (156) They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance. (157).

    December 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      Thank you for responding to my post.

      You mentioned that all faiths were directed to Jerusalem until the Prophet Muhammed PBUH the Islamic Qiblah changed to Mecca….

      What I think is you don’t realize that Jesus the Christ inst!tuted His Church and Sacraments before ascending into Heaven. He accomplished all that God had sent Him to do…God did not fail or forget something…needing a prophet to change up what He had accomplished. God does not make a mistake.

      We accept His Truth; we see that it is Just; we see that it has held true for 2000 years since Jesus’ Resurrection; He promised grace, guidance, and guarding from evil and we love, adore and worship God for His Mercy.

      It is a New Year upon us and I wish God’s blessings upon you and the whole world.

      December 31, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  15. Peace2All

    @CatholicMom

    Per your suggestion, I am continuing our conversation here due to the 'long thread' that was created.

    You Said: -Peace2All- "Gosh, I never thought of my opinion as being radical!"

    Well, what I said was 'on this belief blog, you sometimes are exposed to or get to see someone with 'radically different' viewpoints than your own. Big, difference, not calling your opinions radical.

    You Said: "Why do people want to get married? Are they tired of having s3x outside of marriage and hate the guilty feeling or do they think marriage will make their love real or do they want God in their marriage or all of the above?"

    First, I think that people get married for a multi-tude of reasons... many of which you left out. However one, in particular is that they just simply...Love each other and desire to display, experience and express that commitment in the form of marriage. Not everyone who desires to get married needs nor wants to have children.

    You Said: (paraphrasing here for brevity) "Marriage is a covenant with God"...etc... and the rest of things you suggested are required as part of this covenant with God."

    This is where you and I most likely will have 'irreconcileable differences'... Oh no, we are 'divorcing already' CMom...? 🙂

    What I really mean is that you have your 'beliefs' that absolutely 1) God exists 2) You, without question, understand what God wants and expects
    from us, and specifically relating to this discussion on Marriage 3)God wants everyone to due his will (which you claim knowledge of), about everyone should go into Marriage to have children... of course if a couple doesn't conceive, it was because of God's will.

    So, with all of that, there is no more discussion as you are 'intractable' in your position concerning a Supernatural being and what He wants. And, I can't disprove any of that, I can only offer my opinion, and what seems to make sense to me, and a lot of others on this planet, and... I know, I'm sure there are a lot of others that believe your way too.

    But... the big difference here is that I am claiming not to ultimately know, and therefore you must claim you don't *ultimately know* so I guess this makes us both 'agnostics' here in relationship to this...yes...? 🙂

    You Said: "If you are going to ‘sizzle’, Peace2All, it will not be because of anyone else but yourself…but having gotten to know you some on these blogs, I think your heart will accept Truth when confronted with it…and that is all any of us can do."

    Gosh... I 'really' don't want to 'sizzle' CMom...! 😯 ! But, thanks for believing in me.

    You Said: "See you later, remember?!"

    Yep... so, if I'm wrong, I will need your help in putting in a good word for me with St. Peter at the 'Pearlies'.... so I can make it in and see you...! 🙂

    Peace...

    December 30, 2010 at 1:04 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Peace2All,

      Oh, you cleared up a lot in one post! My opinion is not radical, I am glad you think so; I did not list ALL of the reasons why people want to get married, you said;…but the reason[s] that you stated… ‘they just simply...Love each other and desire to display, experience and express that commitment in the form of marriage. Not everyone who desires to get married needs nor wants to have children’…. can be found in my post…where I stated that by leaving God out, people want marriage because … ‘it is just a display or a man-made ritual’…

      [You said] that I said …. ‘ everyone should go into Marriage to have children... of course if a couple doesn't conceive, it was because of God's will.’ ….Actually, people should go into Marriage being OPEN to having children, not expecting to always have children naturally…there is adoption if one chooses or foster care, too. If they don’t want children right away there can be good reason for it which the Church will sanction.

      No, Peace2All, I am not agnostic. I do not doubt in any way that God exists. I see Him in all that life has to offer. I am sorry that we cannot see this same thing through our mind’s eye and through our heart of hearts….[the heart that offers us the Truth] but that does not mean that it will never happen. I have Faith enough for both of us for the time being, and it is in Hope that it thrives. Maybe you will accept it in little bits here and there….Love is like a sponge….it absorbs only the good stuff…and it never stops absorbing!

      Divorcing? Us? By now you know I do not believe there is such a thing…Vows before God cannot be broke even if we say we ‘now’ renounce them. Sorry, you are stuck with me even if you leave me! But, that will never happen because in our hearts all we have to do is recall the love we once knew and ‘bingo’ we will see that it is still there if we want it…so when and if ‘divorce’ should ever come into your thoughts for a moment and before you let the word out…think about what we have known and realize it did not go anywhere. We may have a huge pile of dung to dig through and toss out, but there it will be, just as we left it.

      Remember how Jesus worked miracles for people by other’s faith? When you arrive at the Gates of Heaven look around and if I am not there, please, ask if I can come through, too; with just a little faith the size of a mustard seed, you can open those Gates wide!

      December 30, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  16. Muneef

    For Muslims kindly visit this site and vote yes to Islam in Germany

    Just enter "JA"
    And press "Stämme abgeben".

    http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/wulffrede112.html

    December 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Allah is great and what ever his wishes are they would become to be;

    At-Tariq sura 86:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    By the Sky and the Night-Visitant (therein)― (1) And what will explain to thee what the Night-Visitant is?― (2) (It is) the Star of piercing brightness― (3) There is no soul but has a protector over it. (4) Now let man but think from what he is created! (5) He is created from a drop emitted― (6) Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs: (7) Surely (Allah) is able to bring him back (to life)! (8) The Day that (all) things secret will be tested. (9) (Man) will have no power, and no helper. (10) By the Firmament which returns (in its round), (11) And by the Earth which opens out (for the gushing of springs or the sprouting of vegetation)― (12) Behold this is the Word that distinguishes (Good from Evil): (13) It is not a thing for amusement. (14) As for them, they are but plotting a scheme, (15) And I am planning a scheme. (16) Therefore grant a delay to the unbelievers: give respite to them gently (for a while). (17).

    December 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  18. sheetiron

    Persecution is just part of the Christian life. We must remember that blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness and mistreated because of Christ, and respond with love and forgiveness to our persecutors.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  19. Muneef

    Never say sorry to one who likes you…

    Never say bye to one who needs you…

    Never blame the one who really trust you

    Never forget the one who always remember you.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:29 am |
    • Reality

      And never forget the horror of koranic-driven 9/11 !!!

      December 30, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  20. Maniac

    Wait a minute. There is a religion that prohibits the use of birth control? On what grounds?! I want to hear a legitimate excuse for not preventing unplanned pregnancy, not a story in a book. Surprise me.

    December 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.