Religion

Pope Francis: Christmas 'Taken Hostage' By Materialism

| by Brendan Kelly

Pope Francis says that Christmas has been "taken hostage" by materialism and that many have forgotten the true meaning of the holiday.

During a Christmas Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke about the meaning of Christmas and denounced the suffering of children around the world.

According to the New York Post, the leader of the Catholic Church discussed in his Christmas Eve homily a world obsessed with material items and self-centeredness.

"If we want to celebrate Christmas authentically, we need to contemplate this sign: the fragile simplicity of a small newborn, the meekness of where he lies, the tender affection of he swaddling clothes," Pope Francis said at the service at St. Peter's Basilica. "God is there."

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At the service, with roughly 10,000 people in attendance, the pope said that the world must be reminded what the true message of Christmas is, and that the world needs more humility.

"Jesus was born rejected by some and regarded by many others with indifference," he said. "Today also the same indifference can exist, when Christmas becomes a feast where the protagonists are ourselves, rather than Jesus; when the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows; when we are concerned for gifts, but cold toward those who are marginalized."

He added, "This worldliness has taken Christmas hostage. It needs to be freed."

According to the BBC, the pope has recently urged others to show compassion toward refugees, reminding Christians that Jesus Christ himself was a migrant. Pope Francis said during the service that infant Jesus should remind Christians of those suffering in the world today.

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"Let us also allow ourselves to be challenged by the children of today’s world, who are not lying in a cot caressed with the affection of a mother and father, but rather suffer the squalid mangers that devour dignity: hiding underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of a large city, at the bottom of a boat over-laden with immigrants," Pope Francis said.

Thousands who could not attend the service due to the massive turnout watched on large screens outside of the basilica.

Sources: New York PostBBC / Photo credit: Mark Freeth/Flickr

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