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Pope comforts terror victims in Christmas message

Pope Francis urged peace in the Middle East as tens of thousands gathered to hear his Christmas address Sunday, while offering comfort to victims of terrorism after a year of bloody jihadist attacks. As Europe ramped up security for the holiday just days after the truck attack that left 12 dead at a Berlin Christmas market, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics said he hoped for “peace to those who have lost a person dear to them as a result of brutal acts of terrorism”. In Milan, where suspected Berlin attacker Anis Amri was killed in a police shootout on Friday, there was a heavy police presence around the cathedral.

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