In a New Year's Day message, Pope Francis on Friday said the coronavirus pandemic has taught the world "how much it is necessary to take an interest in others' problems and to share their concerns," which in turn leads to peace.
Peace, the pontiff declared, is "sustained with patient and respectful dialogue" and "constructed with an open collaboration with truth and justice," and his wish is that 2021 is "a year of peace, a year of hope." It is up to everyone to take "by the hand those who need a comforting word, a tender gesture," he said, and if "we begin to be in peace with ourselves," it will spread to "those who are near us."
The pope also specifically called for an end to the civil war in Yemen, saying children there are "without education, without medicine, hungry," and asked for the release of the Rev. Moses Chikwe, a Nigerian bishop who was abducted on Sunday.