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Wednesday, December 25 2013, 07:49 PM MST
Pope Delivers Christmas Greetings -- In One Language
VATICAN CITY (AP) — It's been a tradition for popes to deliver their Christmas greetings in dozens of languages to the crowd standing below the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

But today, in his first Christmas message, Pope Francis stuck to Italian.

He also kept to the simple style he has set for his papacy. Francis wore a plain white cassock as he spoke to more than 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square.

He offered wishes for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children. The pontiff also prayed for peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the world.

In his Christmas speech, Francis explained his concept of peace -- saying it's "not a balancing of opposing forces," or something that "conceals conflicts and divisions." Instead, he said, "Peace calls for daily commitment."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Pope Delivers Christmas Greetings -- In One Language

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