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New Year calls for courage, hope; no more hatred, selfishness, pope says


  • Pope Francis uses incense during vespers on New Year's Eve in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets a family as they present offertory gifts during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis raises the Book of the Gospels during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, concelebrate the Eucharist during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square after leading vespers on New Year's Eve at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets people in St. Peter's Square after leading vespers on New Year's Eve at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Whether the new year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day, Pope Francis said.

"That is how one builds peace, saying 'no' to hatred and violence -- with action -- and 'yes' to fraternity and reconciliation," he said Jan. 1, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.


Speaking to the some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the first noon Angelus of 2017, the pope referred to his peace day message in which he asked people to adopt the "style" of nonviolence for building a politics for peace.

Lamenting the brutal act of terrorism that struck during a night of "well-wishes and hope" in Istanbul, the pope offered his prayers for the entire nation of Turkey as well as those hurt and killed. A gunman opened fire during a New Year's Eve celebration at a popular nightclub early Jan. 1, killing at least 39 people and wounding at least 70 more.


"I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves in order to confront the scourge of terrorism and this bloodstain that is enveloping the world with the shadow of fear and confusion," he said.

Earlier in the day, the pope spoke of how maternal tenderness, hope and self-sacrifice were the "strongest antidote" to the selfishness, indifference and "lack of openness" in the world today.

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