Pope laments Christmas 'glitter'
Pope Benedict XVI has
attacked the commercialisation of Christmas, as he held the traditional
Christmas Eve Mass at St Peter's Basilica in Rome. In his homily, he urged worshippers to "see through the
superficial glitter of this season and to discover behind it the child
in the stable in Bethlehem".
The Pope also lamented the enduring presence of violence in the world. The pontiff will deliver his annual Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) speech in a few hours. Meanwhile, Christian pilgrims and tourists from around the world last night converged on Bethlehem for Christmas. Celebrations culminated in Midnight Mass at the
1,700-year-old Church of the Nativity, built on the spot where it is
believed Jesus was born. About 120,000 visitors were in the Palestinian West Bank town, 30% up on last year, officials said.