Pope Rips Christmas Materialism
Continues Vatican battle against rampant consumerism
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2007 12:36 PM CST
Santa Claus from Finland, with two models walk on street during a Christmas promotional event for a shopping center in downtown, Hong Kong Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Continuing the Vatican's battle against rampant consumerism on the occasion of Jesus' birthday, Pope Benedict XVI today blasted a pervasive "materialistic mentality" in "the way of living out and perceiving Christmas." The pontiff urged pilgrims gathered below his window on St. Peter's Square instead to "fill your hearts with redeeming hope," reports the AP.

He later prayed at a 150-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary in Rome's premier shopping district. Today's remarks built on the pope's lament in a speech yesterday that ever younger children are being led by adults down the "dead-end streets of consumerism." Benedict's warning echoed the words of predecessor John Paul II, who often cautioned his flock against the moral pitfalls of consumerism.