Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has chastised those who seek wealth and power at the expense of others, while encouraging them to emulate the Christian deity, Jesus Christ, who, according to Biblical records, was poor during his time on earth.
In a Christmas Eve homily condemning war, poverty, and greedy consumerism, Pope Francis rebuked those “ravenous” for wealth and power at the expense of the vulnerable, including children, recalling Jesus’ birth in a stable.
Christmas is an annual Christian festival celebrated on December 25 in most parts of the world, including Ghana, to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Francis presided over the evening Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, which was attended by about 7,000 faithful, including tourists and pilgrims, who flocked to the church on a warm evening and took their place behind rows of white-robed pontiffs.
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He drew inspiration from Jesus’ humble beginnings in a manger.
Pope Francis said, “While animals feed in their stalls, men and women in our world, in their hunger for wealth and power, consume even their neighbours, their brothers and sisters,” the pontiff lamented.
“How many wars have we seen? And in how many places, even today, are human dignity and freedom treated with contempt?
“As always, the principal victims of this human greed are the weak and vulnerable,” said Francis, who didn’t cite any specific conflict or situation.
“This Christmas, too, as in the case of Jesus, a world ravenous for money, power and pleasure does not make room for the little ones, for the so many unborn, poor and forgotten children,” the pope said, reading his homily with a voice that sounded tired and almost hoarse.
“I think above all of the children devoured by war, poverty and injustice.”