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Pope decries commercial glitter of Christmas

Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialisation of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve mass, urging the faithful to look beyond the holiday’s “superficial glitter” to discover its true meaning.

world Updated: Dec 25, 2011 23:32 IST

Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialisation of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve mass, urging the faithful to look beyond the holiday’s “superficial glitter” to discover its true meaning.

Benedict presided over the service in a packed St Peter’s Basilica, kicking off an intense two weeks of Christmas-related public appearances that will test the 84-year-old pontiff’s stamina amid signs that fatigue is starting to slow him down.

The Christmas Eve mass was moved up to 10pm from midnight several years ago to spare the pope a late night that is ­followed by an important Christmas Day speech. In a new concession this year, Benedict processed down the basilica’s central aisle on a ­moving platform to spare him the long walk.

Benedict lamented that Christmas has become an increasingly commercial ­celebration that obscures the simplicity of the message of Christ’s birth. “Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light,” he said.