Pope urges return to simple values at Christmas

Pope Francis leads a mass on Christmas eve marking the birth of Jesus Christ, at St Peter's basilica in The Vatican, on December 24, 2015Pope Francis ushered in Christmas by urging the faithful to reject the materialism that pervades the gift-giving season, and to embrace “simple, balanced” values, as violence subdued festivities in the Holy Land. The pontiff, at his annual Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica, called on Christians everywhere to push back against the excesses of modern society, which he said was “so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism”. In many countries across the world, Christians were fearful for their future, and some were even prohibited from celebrating the holy day, a state of affairs that did not go ignored by Francis.

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