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Pope Francis delivers the "Urbi et Orbi" message from the main balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Photo by Vatican Media via Reuters

Pope Francis calls for ‘fraternity’ in Christmas message

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has offered his Christmas wish for fraternity among people of different faiths, races or ideas, urging the world to put aside “partisan interests” to find a political solution to wars in Syria and Yemen and conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula.

Addressing tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans in St. Peter’s Square, Francis says Tuesday that the universal message of Christmas is that “God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters.”

Without fraternity, the pope says “even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.” He adds that “our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness.”

Francis made his appeal as trends toward nationalism, fueling suspicion of migrants and refugees, have gained traction in much of the developed world.

READ MORE: Pope Francis leads Christmas Eve Mass at Vatican

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