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Pope Francis calls for tolerance in his first New Year blessing

Pope Francis has called for the world to unite against violence as a “community of brothers” in his first New Year blessing.

Addressing pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis departed from his prepared text to vent frustration at the level of conflict in the world.

“What is happening in the heart of man?” he asked.

“It’s time to stop.”

Without referring to any specific conflicts, he urged people to accept each other’s differences.

Pope Francis has called for the world to unite against violence as a "community of brothers" in his first New Year blessing

Pope Francis has called for the world to unite against violence as a “community of brothers” in his first New Year blessing

“We belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny,” Pope Francis said, speaking from his studio window overlooking the crowds in the square at the Vatican.

“This brings a responsibility for each to work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and take care of one another.”

Pope Francis plans major reforms in Church organization this year and will soon announce the appointment of a new group of cardinals to replace those who have died or reached the age of 80 in recent years.

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