Pope Ushers in Christmas
Pontiff uses midnight Mass to speak out against harm to environment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 8:02 PM CST
Pope Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate the Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, early Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. Pope Benedict XVI ushered in Christmas as he led Midnight Mass...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI ushered in Christmas with a traditional midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, using his homily to speak out against the degradation of the environment and man's selfishness, reports Agence France Presse. The leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics lamented our "polluted world whose future is at risk," in an address broadcast worldwide.

Referring to an early bishop of the church who had concerns about the earth, the pope asked, "What would he say if he could see the state of the world today, through the abuse of energy and its selfish and reckless exploitation?" He also said modern man is "so preoccupied with himself" that he has little time for others—or for God.