Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham
home iconChurch
line break icon

It’s “false respect” to take Jesus out of Christmas, says pope

Audience Pope Francis

Antoine Mekary | AETEIA | I.MEDIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 12/27/17

If Christ is removed from these celebrations, "the light goes out"

There is a trend to distort Christmas, marginalizing the faith, due to a “false respect,” said Pope Francis today at the general audience. In fact, “without Jesus, there is no Christmas.”

The crowd in Paul VI Hall responded with loud applause to the pope’s assertion.

Local traditions, typical meals and songs help to create the festive atmosphere, the Successor of Peter remarked, but if Christ is removed from these celebrations, “the light goes out and everything seems wrong.”

Often, lamented the pontiff, mankind prefers to stay in the dark and cling to bad habits. The Church, said the Bishop of Rome, helps move us toward the “true light” of Christ.

Indeed, said the pontiff, Jesus Christ is the “true gift” of Christmas. He brings new life based on love and not on selfishness.

Following Christ, urged the pontiff, we must also become “a gift for others.”

The Incarnation, “certain proof” of God’s love

Welcoming various language groups, the head of the Catholic Church said that the love of God “is not limited to sending prophets, messengers or texts.” This love pushes God to “embrace” the weakness of the human condition, to restore its lost dignity. The Incarnation is the “certain proof” of God’s love, insisted the pope. He encouraged the pilgrims to prepare their hearts as a manger where Christ was born in Bethlehem.

At the end of the general audience, the artists of the Italian Golden Circus, including contortionists and acrobats, performed a few numbers before the pontiff and the crowd. The Bishop of Rome seemed to enjoy the show. “With your art, you approach God’s people,” said he told them.

Audience Pope Francis
Antoine Mekary | AETEIA | I.MEDIA
ChristmasPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.