In his traditional Christmas day message to the world from the Vatican City, Pope Paul said his foremost wish this year was for a successful outcome to the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks.
GV ZOOM IN TO Pope coming onto balcony in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City
GV PAN FROM People in square TO St. Peter's
GV ZOOM IN TO Pope speaking
GV PAN FROM Crowds TO Pope on balcony
GV Pope blesses the crowd ZOOM OUT TO crowds
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Background: In his traditional Christmas day message to the world from the Vatican City, Pope Paul said his foremost wish this year was for a successful outcome to the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks. The 80-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church said that the talks between the Israeli Premier Menachem Begin and Egypt's President Sadat brought concrete hopes of peace in the Middle East.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the rain, some 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear the Pope's message and receive his blessing. The 1,200 word message was televised live to 37 nations and the blessing was delivered in 13 languages including Russian and Chinese. Dozens more countries heard it live on radio.
The Pope said he would first address his greeting to the peoples of the Middle East in the hope that peace and justice would soon flourish there again. The leader of the world's 650 million Roman Catholics said the talks were now at a stage that could be of very great and lasting importance.
But he emphasised that the future was still fraught with dangers. World leaders could not sleep easily while there was still fear of the terrible weapons of today's military powers.
After the message came the blessing. Then the Pope was expected to take a rest. He had already celebrated three masses, including a midnight service in St. Peter's.