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The “insatiable greed” of today’s consumerism got a hard knock in Pope’s Christmas message

The unending greed of consumerism
The “insatiable greed” of today’s consumerism got a hard knock in Pope’s Christmas message.

Pope Francis assailed the “insatiable greed” of today’s consumerism at the Vatican and pilgrims crowded into the church at the traditional site of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem on Tuesday as Christmas celebrations began worldwide.

Thousands attended mass on Monday night at the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Francis, the head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, offered his Christmas homily.

“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,” the 82-year-old pope said.

Pope Francis will deliver his sixth “Urbi et Orbi” address on Tuesday, Christmas Day – when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – to pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.

Visitors from across the world gathered in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve ahead of midnight mass, queueing to see the grotto where Jesus is believed to have been born and taking in a festive parade.
Clergymen attend Christmas celebrations at Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank Credit: MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA/Reuters

In the “little town” in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian scouts and a bagpipe band paraded in Manger Square across from the Church of the Nativity, built where Christians say Mary gave birth to Jesus.

Crowds, some wearing Santa hats or holding balloons, looked on at the square decked out with a giant Christmas tree and a manger as carols in Arabic played through speakers.

“It’s a great opportunity to be in such a symbolic location for Christmas,” said Lea Gudel, a 21-year-old French student studying in Jerusalem, who was in Manger Square on Monday morning.

Later in the day, musical groups took the stage at Manger Square in front of the Christmas tree, illuminated as night fell, to sing Christmas carols.

This year, visitors were also able to view the Church of the Nativity’s newly restored mosaics dating to the Crusader era after they were recently cleaned and repaired in a major project.
Pope Francis prays in front of a Nativity scene Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP

The first church was built on the site in the fourth century, though it was replaced after a fire in the sixth century.

A newer and more spacious church, St. Catherine, is located next door to the basilica and is where midnight mass is held.

Hundreds of worshippers crowded into the stone church for the mass led by the Catholic archbishop for the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was among dignitaries in attendance.

Pizzaballa in his homily spoke of a “responsibility of caring for the city and the land where we live.”

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OLADIRAN JOSEPH OYEWUMI ( DIRAN O.Y.E ) is a seasoned and dynamic minister of God. He is a preacher, singer and songwriter, an author, a crusader for social justice and an ambassador for peace. His songs, messages and writings will electrify you and take you to the realm of blissful atmosphere. His music will get you on your feet to dance,to rejoice, to reflect and to rekindle hope. His work of music speaks well of him as a dynamic, warm and energetic person.

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