Pope Francis has urged Christians to forgo the greed, hoarding and materialism of Christmas and to focus instead on its message of simplicity, charity and love.
Francis celebrated a Christmas Eve Mass on Monday night in St Peter’s Basilica, opening a busy week for the pope that includes a Christmas Day message and blessing, a December 26 prayer, New Year’s Eve vespers and a January 1 Mass.
During his homily, Francis lamented that many people find meaning in possessions.
He said: “An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when paradoxically a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive.”
Francis’ has focused on the world’s poor and downtrodden during his five-year papacy.
The Catholic Church’s first Latin American pope has denounced the global financial system that he says make the rich richer at the expense of the poor.