A somber Pope Francis steeped his Christmas message to the world on Christmas day in sadness for those with little cause for joy -- abused children, refugees, hostages, and others suffering from violence in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine, and elsewhere -- the Wall Street Journal website reports today (December 26, 2014).
Anguish for children who suffer maltreatment or violence -- including the recent heartless terrorist attack on a Pakistani school -- tempered the pontiff's traditional Christmas day speech, which he delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.
A crowd -- estimated by the Vatican to number more than 80,000 Romans, tourists, and pilgrims -- filled St. Peter's Square for the "Urbi et Orbi" message (Latin for "to the city and to the world").
"Truly, there are so many tears this Christmas," said Pope Francis, looking solemn and smiling very little, in contrast to his usual jocular demeanor when addressing crowds. He lamented that many children are "made objects of trade and trafficking" or forced to become combat soldiers, as well as those never given the chance to be born because of abortion.