Pope says Christmas ‘hostage’ to materialism, God in shadows

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said that Christmas had been “taken hostage” by dazzling materialism that puts God in the shadows and blinds many to the needs of the hungry, the migrants and the war weary.

Francis, leading the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas for the fourth time since his election in 2013, said on Saturday (Dec. 24) in his Christmas Eve homily that a world often obsessed with gifts, feasting and self-centeredness needed more humility.

“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 the swaddling clothes. God is there,” the Pope said at St. Peter’s Basilica.

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