Pope Francis returned to one of his favoured themes in his homily at midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the Vatican, castigating a hedonistic and consumerist society and a culture of indifference.
Meanwhile, one of his senior cardinals, Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster and the leader of the Catholic church in England, focused his Christmas Eve message on “gratuitous violence” in the home and the suffering of persecuted Christians around the world.
Neither Catholic leader mentioned the continuing refugee crisis, a surprising omission at the end of a year in which the plight of those fleeing conflict, persecution and hardship has dominated international headlines. In September,Francis called on every religious community across Europe to offer sanctuary to refugee families.
At midnight mass, the pope urged his followers to pursue a life of modesty, saying: “The way of authentic liberation and perennial redemption is open to every man and woman who is simple of heart”. Read more