Materialism has “taken Christmas hostage- Pope Francis

The Pope has urged Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus by thinking about the plight of today’s children who must dodge bombs or flee in migrant boats.
Pope Francis celebrated a sombre Christmas Eve Mass in a packed St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
In his homily, Francis urged his flock to reflect on how children today aren’t always allowed to lie peacefully in a cot.
Instead of being loved by their parents, as Jesus was, they “suffer the squalid mangers that devour dignity”.
He said they were forced to hide “underground to escape bombardment … at the bottom of a boat overladen with immigrants”.
It will be followed by Pope Francis’ noon Urbi et Orbi (To the city and the world) blessing on Christmas Day.
In another appeal, Francis called for the faithful to not get caught up in the commercialisation of Christmas.
Materialism has “taken Christmas hostage,” he said. “We have to set it free.”
Elsewhere, Christmas Eve celebrations took place in Bethlehem, with thousands of pilgrims and tourists descending on Jesus’s birthplace.

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