Pope Makes a Powerful Call to End War in New Years Speech

Pope Francis kicked off 2014 by giving a passionate appeal for global solidarity, and an end to war during his New Year blessing.

Addressing a crowd of tens of thousands in St Peter's Square, he went broke away from his prepared speech to say this to the crowd:

"What on Earth is happening in the hearts of men? What on Earth is happening in the heart of humanity? It's time to stop!"

He further urged the world to listen to the "cry for peace."

An especially important plea when the death toll in Syria's conflict have now reached 113,735 — 11,420 of those being children.

Pope Francis, who was named TIME Person of the Year 2013, has been celebrated by religious and non-religious people alike for his candid comments on gay rights, poverty, and capitalism.

Recently, he condemned the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, saying that "While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few."

Back in July, the 78-year-old pontiff stirred controversy when he said "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" 

The surprising comments even earned him the title of person of the year by LGBT rights magazine The Advocate. Still, gay marriage and adoption are probably off the table for the Catholic Church, the Pope was reportedly "shocked" by a Malta bill allowing for gay adoption

Even if his comments on gay rights and women have been controversial, his condemnations of inequality have really resonated with people around the world.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Sara Yasin

Sara Yasin is the World Editor at Mic. Her writing has been previously published at Index on Censorship, Jezebel, Salon, Ms. Magazine blog, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the New York Times.

MORE FROM

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.