Christmas eve mass in the vatican, pope francis condemned human “hunger for wealth and power”. the mass was held at st peter’s basilica in vatican city, and francis entered the church in a wheelchair and sat at the site of the altar for most of the service on saturday evening. he was joined by the archbishop of canterbury, justin welby, who was expected to deliver a message about the birth of jesus christ and appeal to the leaders of both south sudan and russia to bring an end to violence.
Mass took place on saturday evening, and francis was widely criticised in ukraine for making cautious comments without blaming russia directly. on sunday, francis is due to deliver his traditional urbi et orbi blessing and message from st peter’s basilica’s balcony. welby is expected to reflect on his recent visit to ukraine and look ahead to his forthcoming visit to south sudan with the pope and the moderator of the church of scotland.
Said that men and women in the world consume even their neighbours, their mothers and sisters in their hunger for wealth and power. he thought of the children devoured by war, poverty and injustice. during the early stages of russia’s full-scale invasion launched on 24 february, francis made cautious comments without blaming russia directly. he later denounced what he described as atrocities committed by russian troops. the main victims of wars are “the weak and the vulnerable”, and francis said that while animals feed in their stalls, men and women in the world consume even their neighbours in their hunger for wealth and power.