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Pope Benedict's Christmas Message

11:35 AM, Dec 25, 2012   |    comments
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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict is wishing Christmas peace to the world, decrying the slaughter of the "defenseless" in Syria and urging Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage to negotiate.

Delivering the Vatican's traditional Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica today, a weary-looking and hoarse-sounding Benedict also encouraged Arab spring nations, especially Egypt, to build just and respectful societies.

He says Egypt was the land "blessed by the childhood of Jesus."

He also prayed that China's new leaders respect religion, a reference to persecution Chinese Roman Catholics have at times endured under communism.

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