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His Holiness

Pope Francis calls for unity to fight terrorism in Christmas address

In his annual "Urbi et Orbi" Christmas address, Pope Francis called from the Vatican for unity in the face of Islamic terrorism. He directly addressed the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 and the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian plane over Egypt that killed all 224 people on board, condemning both attacks as "brutal acts of terrorism."

"Only God's mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst," the pope said. His Holiness' wide-ranging address also called for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and asked God to give strength to persecuted Christians around the world.