The head of the Roman Catholic church calls on his followers to pray for a peaceful end to a political standoff in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Diane Hodges reports.
Thousands gathered around a giant Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square for the final Sunday prayer and blessing before Christmas. As the Christian holiday celebrating peace approaches, Pope Francis urged the crowd to pray for an end to conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "I ask you all to pray that the dialogue in the Democratic Republic of Congo is conducted with serenity to avoid any kind of violence and for the good of the whole country." DRC President Joseph Kabila's term in office expires Monday. But he says elections to choose his successor can't be held until 2018. Political opponents in the central African nation are vowing to stage massive demonstrations in protest. A group of Catholic bishops have been trying to resolve the standoff, and delegates say the talks will resume on Wednesday. ...likely hoping they will now be supported by the prayers of thousands of these Catholic faithful who will heed the Pope's call.