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The Pope reflects on relationships in pandemic times in his traditional Christmas address

Speaking from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the Pontiff called the pandemic a “complex crisis” that has tested social relationships and increased tendencies of withdrawal.

“Our capacity for social relationships is sorely tired,” Francis told the people in the square as well as the millions of Catholics watching the address from around the world.

“There is a growing tendency to withdraw, to do it all by ourselves, to stop making an effort to encounter others and do things together,” he added.

The Pope’s traditional “Urbi et Orbi” or “To the City and the World” Christmas address was affected by the pandemic for the second year running.

Unlike in 2020, people were able to come to the square to listen to the traditional message this year, but the number of attendees was only about a fifth of what it was before the pandemic, because of the current increase in…

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