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Pope: Now’s the time to end indifference, ‘false neutrality’

Bassey said with this year’s theme, “Pope Francis wants humanity to overcome indifference to God, indifference to our neighbor and indifference to the environment”. He also spent time greeting the crowds gathered, wishing them all a “Happy New Year”. Lets renew, to one another, the desire that that which awaits us is a little better” than what past year brought, Francis said. “It is, after all, a sign of the hope that animates us and invites us all to believe in life”.

But he said there had also been “so many great gestures of goodness” to help those in need, “even if they are not on television news programmes (because) good things don’t make news“.

Since 1968, the Vatican has dedicated its New Year’s Day message to peace.

He wondered aloud how long human evil will keep sowing violence and hatred.

Francis cited no specific country, continent or conflict, but his words clearly evoked images of the million and more refugees and migrants who risked risky journeys by sea or overland to reach Europe from Africa, the Middle East and Asia in 2015.

According to the Guardian, the pontiff made his address amid tight security with the security checking people’s bags and about 10,000 people passing through airport-style screening to get into St Peter’s Basilica and hear him celebrate the mass.

Since 1968, the Vatican has dedicated its New Year’s Day message to peace.

“We can not forget that many days have been marked by violence, death, unspeakable suffering by so many innocent people, refugees forced to leave their homelands, of men, women and children without homes, food or support”, he says. In fact, he declared a Holy Year of Mercy, which began in December and runs through November 2016.

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