Popes massage for Christmas

Pope Francis led the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas yesterday, urging them not to let the Church’s failings lead them away from accepting God’s love.

Francis celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for thousands of people as hundreds of others watched on large screens outside.

As is customary on Christmas Eve, the 83-year-old pope weaved his sermon around the spiritual and personal significance of the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

“Christmas reminds us that God continues to love us all, even the worst of us,” Francis, presiding at the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, said in his sermon.

Without mentioning them specifically, Francis also referred to recent Church troubles, including its attempts to come to grips with continuous sexual abuse scandals around the world and financial irregularities closer to home at the Vatican.


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