DURING the Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Francis has denounced the yawning gap between the rich and the poor, calling on people in the developed world to seek a less materialistic life and help the poor.
Leading a solemn service for about 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for his traditional Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Francis said, “Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for living? Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?”
“In our day, for many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects. 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 head of the Catholic Church said.
The pope has made defending the poor a hallmark of his papacy since his election on March 13, 2013.
Late in 2017, the Catholic charity Caritas estimated that there were over 16,000 homeless people in Rome and the number of such people congregating near the Vatican had increased obviously, particularly at night when they clustered under arcades to sleep.
Francis is set to deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Day on Tuesday.