At noon on Christmas day, the Solemnity of the Lord's Birth, the Pope addressed the traditional Nativity message from the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica, the first one of his pontificate and transmitted by 111 television stations from 68 nations.
The Holy Father said: "On this solemn day, the Angel's proclamation rings out once again, inviting us, the men and women of the third millennium, to welcome the Saviour. May the people of today's world not hesitate to let him enter their homes, their cities, their nations, everywhere on earth!".
Benedict XVI stated that "men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart. That is why it is so important for us to open our minds and hearts to the Birth of Christ, this event of salvation which can give new hope to the life of each human being".
He exhorted: "Wake up, O men and women of the third millennium! At Christmas, the Almighty becomes a child and asks for our help and protection. His way of showing that he is God challenges our way of being human. By knocking at our door, he challenges us and our freedom; he calls us to examine how we understand and live our lives."
"Men and women of today, humanity come of age yet often still so frail in mind and will, let the Child of Bethlehem take you by the hand! Do not fear; put your trust in him! The life-giving power of his light is an incentive for building a new world order based on just ethical and economic relationships. May his love guide every people on earth and strengthen their common consciousness of being a family called to foster relationships of trust and mutual support".
The Pope assured that "a united humanity will be able to confront the many troubling problems of the present time: from the menace of terrorism to the humiliating poverty in which millions of human beings live, from the proliferation of weapons to the pandemics and the environmental destruction which threatens the future of our planet."
Looking at the situations in the different continents, the Holy Father asked "for peace, integral development and the prevention of fratricidal conflicts, for the consolidation of the present, still fragile political transitions, and the protection of the most elementary rights of those experiencing tragic humanitarian crises, such as those in Darfur and in other regions of central Africa."
Benedict XVI also asked God to "lead the peoples of Latin America to live in peace and harmony. May he grant courage to people of good will in the Holy Land, in Iraq, in Lebanon, where signs of hope, which are not lacking, need to be confirmed by actions inspired by fairness and wisdom; may he favour the process of dialogue on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere in the countries of Asia, so that, by the settlement of dangerous disputes, consistent and peaceful conclusions can be reached in a spirit of friendship, conclusions which their peoples expectantly await."
The Pope also imparted his blessing Urbi et Orbi (to Rome and to the World) with this message in 32 languages.