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Pope offers solidarity with Bethlehem and condemns ‘the futile logic of war’ | UK News

The Pope used his sermon at Midnight Mass to offer his solidarity with people in the Middle East – and condemn the “futile logic of war”.

Francis, 87, told 6,500 people inside St Peter’s Basilica: “Our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace is once more rejected by the futile logic of war”.

He added that the “clash of arms today” prevents Jesus from “finding room in the world”.

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Pope Francis: ‘Our hearts are in Bethlehem’

In Bethlehem itself, Mass was held by Palestinian Christians who reflected on the war around them in Israel and Gaza.

The traditional Nativity scene in Manger Square was also surrounded by rubble and barbed wire.

A Christmas installation of a grotto with figures standing amid rubble surrounded by a razor wire, is displayed outside the Church of the Nativity, in support of Gaza, on Manger Square in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank December 24, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
The Nativity scene in Manger Square, Bethlehem

In Vatican City, recalling that Jesus was born during a census meant to reinforce King David’s power, the pontiff “the quest for worldly power and might, fame and glory, which measures everything in terms of success, results, numbers and figures, a world obsessed with achievement”.

By contrast, Jesus entered the world humbly. “Here, we see not a god of wrath and chastisement, but the God of mercy, who takes flesh and enters the world in weakness,” he said.

A pagan deity is linked to “power, worldly success and idolatry of consumerism,” the pope said.

“God, on the other hand, waves no magic want; he is no god of commerce who promises everything all at once. He does not save us by pushing a button, but draws near us, in order to change our world from within.”

File photo dated 21/04/19 of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has condemned the "utterly abhorrent" attacks by Hamas in Israel as he sent his sympathies to British Jews who he said are experiencing the "double jeopardy" of a potential rise in antisemitic sentiment as they mourn. Issue date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.

On Christmas Day the Archbishop of Canterbury will use his sermon to highlight the suffering of children caught up in the Israel-Hamas war.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-25 06:00:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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