(REUTERS) — Pope Benedict, leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, on Monday urged people to find room for God in their fast-paced lives filled with the latest technological gadgets.

The 85-year-old pope, marking the eighth Christmas season of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve mass in St Peter’s Basilica, during which he appealed for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and an end to the civil war in Syria.

At the mass for some 10,000 people in the basilica and broadcast to millions of others on television, the pope wove his homily around the theme of God’s place in today’s modern world.

“Do we have time and space for him? Do we not actually turn away God himself? We begin to do so when we have no time for him,” said the pope, wearing gold and white vestments.

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