Pope prays for flood victims in DRC and appeals for release of Colombia hostsages

Pope Francis appeals for the release of people who have been kidnapped in Colombia. He also expresses his closeness to the population of the Republic of Congo affected by extreme flooding.

By Francesca Merlo

Addressing the the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square at the conclusion of the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis prayed “for the unconditional release of all the people currently kidnapped in Colombia”. 

This gesture, the Pope added, which is a duty before God, will also help promote a climate of reconciliation and peace in the country.

Then, once again, the Holy Father asked for peace, in particular that the violence cease in “Ukraine, Israel, Palestine” and other conflicts raging in our world.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Pope Francis then expressed his closeness to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 300 have died following heavy rains that caused catastrophic flooding. Official data has shown that over 43,750 houses have collapsed from the extreme weather, while the country is on high alert as the risk of epidemics is rises due to the lack of sanitation and clean water. 

Christmas for Eastern Churches

Finally, Pope Francis also wished members of the Eastern churches following the Julian calendar a most “Holy Christmas in a spirit of joyful fraternity.”