Don't be dazzled by Xmas consumerism: Pope

21st December 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 December 2005, VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday urged Catholics to focus on the Christian origins of Christmas and not to be dazzled by the flashy lights of consumerism and modern culture.

21 December 2005

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday urged Catholics to focus on the Christian origins of Christmas and not to be dazzled by the flashy lights of consumerism and modern culture.

"As we look at our streets and squares decorated with flashing lights, let us remember that these lights recall another kind of light, invisible to the eye, but not to the heart," the pope told the faithful attending his traditional mid-week General Audience in St. Peter's Square.

"Some forms of modern culture and consumerism tend to do away with the Christian symbols of Christmas. So let us keep our Christian traditions to the fore. Let the lights of our streets and the candles of our Churches remind us that God is with us ... (that) he is the light of our lives and of the world!" the pope said.

Benedict, 78, wore a "camauro" or traditional crimson velvet cap trimmed with ermine and worn by popes on non-liturgical occasions to protect himself from the bitter cold that has enveloped Rome in the past days.

The last pope to wear such a hat was Pope John XXIII, who ruled the Church between 1958 and 1963, according to Ansa news agency.

Benedict had already moved to defend Christmas' traditional role on Sunday, when he spoke of the looming festivities as being "polluted by consumerism".

"Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive gifts that cost time and money," the German-born pontiff said on that occasion.

DPA

Subject: German news

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