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Pope's New Year's Message: 'To Hurt a Woman is to Insult God'


Pope Francis delivered his New Year's message Saturday with a call to end violence against women, saying it was an insult to God.

Thousands of tourists and residents gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear Francis share his annual New Year’s address. The theme centered around motherhood and women who work to keep together the threads of life.

"How much violence is directed against women! Enough! To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity," the pope said.

Mothers "know how to overcome obstacles and disagreements, and to instill peace," Francis said. "In this way, they transform problems into opportunities for rebirth and growth. They can do this because they know how to 'keep,' to hold together the various threads of life. We need such people, capable of weaving the threads of communion in place of the barbed wire of conflict and division."

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Francis shared more of his hope for peace.

"All can work together to build a more peaceful world, starting from the hearts of individuals and relationships in the family, then within society and with the environment, and all the way up to relationships between peoples and nations," he wrote.

"I wish to propose three paths for building a lasting #peace: dialogue between generations as the basis for the realization of shared projects; education as a factor of freedom, responsibility and development; and labor for the full realization of human dignity."

The pope, who turned 85 on December 17, reminded believers that peace requires "concrete actions," such as forgiveness and promoting justice.

"And it needs a positive outlook as well, one that always sees, in the Church as well as in society, not the evil that divides us, but the good that unites us!" he said, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace.

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