Pope Francis celebrates the midnight Christmas Mass on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, on December 24, 2017. CLAUDIO PERI EFE

Pope Francis urged on Monday to resume “a peaceful dialogue” between all parties in Venezuela, during his Christmas message that he made leaning on the balcony.

“We entrust Venezuela to the Child Jesus so that a serene dialogue between the various social components can be retaken for the good of all the beloved Venezuelan people,” he said.

Before imparting the traditional Christmas blessing, this year’s message from Pope Francis focused on the situation of children in a long list of countries where they suffer from still existing conflicts.

“For this reason, while the world is being hit by winds of war and an already overcome development model that continues to cause human, social and environmental degradation, Christmas invites us to remember the sign of the Child and recognize it in the faces of children, especially those for whom, like Jesus, began his message.

He also quoted “the children of the Middle East, who continue to suffer from increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians” and also reminded those from Syria and Yemen and those “suffering in South Sudan, in Somalia, in Burundi , in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Central African Republic and in Nigeria “.

It is already a tradition that Francis dedicates his Christmas message not only to announce the birth of Jesus but to review the wars and tensions that provoke suffering, this time citing children.

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