During Angelus, Pope Appeals for Peace in Congo

Also Gives Faithful Some Recommendations Before Christmas

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«I ask you all to pray that dialogue in the Democratic Republic of Congo might unfold with serenity, in order that all types of violence can be avoided, and [to pray] for the good of the whole country.»
Pope Francis made the appeal for the African nation this morning during his Angelus address today, one week before Christmas.
According to Vatican Radio, in Congo’s capital of Kinshasa, police have set up checkpoints, while soldiers in armoured vehicles have been deployed to strategic points throughout the city, which has some 12 million inhabitants. The radio also reported that flights into the DRC have been empty, while many members of the country’s wealthy elite have already fled.
After the dramatic appeal, Francis told the faithful in St. Peter’s Square of how grateful he was for all the wishes he received for his 80th birthday yesterday, and gave some pre-Christmas advice.
«In the course of this week – I recommend – that we try to find some time to stop, take a bit of silence, and imagine the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, who are going to Bethlehem. Imagine how they go: the way, the fatigue, but also the joy, emotion, and then the anxiety to find a place, the worry … and so on.»
«The Nativity helps, in this way,» Pope Francis noted, to «enter into the true Christmas, that of Jesus, Who approaches us,» and «receive the grace» of this celebration.
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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