Pope Rips Christmas Materialism

Continues Vatican battle against rampant consumerism

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 9, 2007 12:36 PM CST

(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.

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)
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)
Customers load up on computer screens at a Best Buy in Atlanta on the first traditional day of Christmas shopping on Friday, Nov. 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Tami Chappell)
Customers load up on computer screens at a Best Buy in Atlanta on the first traditional day of Christmas shopping on Friday, Nov. 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Tami Chappell)   (Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by Gianni Battistoni, a menswear shop owner and head of the Via Condotti merchants association, upon his arrival to pray to a statue of Mary on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in Rome's Spanish Steps square, near Via Condotti street, on Saturday,...
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by Gianni Battistoni, a menswear shop owner and head of the Via Condotti merchants association, upon his arrival to pray to a statue of Mary on the occasion of the Immaculate...   (Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI pays homage to a statue of Mary on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. Benedict XVI said Saturday that children are being deceived by adults leading them down the dead-end streets of consumerism. The Catholic Church celebrates Dec. 8 as...
Pope Benedict XVI pays homage to a statue of Mary on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. Benedict XVI said Saturday that children are being deceived by adults...   (Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)
Pope Benedict XVI. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)   (Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007.  Celebrating Dec. 8 as the Immaculate Conception of Mary national holiday, the Pontiff said that boys and girls at ever more tender ages risk being misled by adults hawking...
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. Celebrating Dec. 8 as the Immaculate Conception of Mary national holiday,...   (Associated Press)
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