December 6, 2019
ROME — Pope Francis came out swinging against the war on Christmas Thursday, saying that secularists want to eliminate Christian symbols like the Nativity scene because they are afraid of the real meaning of Christmas.
The manger scene “is a genuine way of communicating the Gospel,” the pope said during a ceremony inaugurating the Vatican Christmas tree and Nativity scene, “in a world that sometimes seems to be afraid of remembering what Christmas really is.”
Instead, the world “eliminates Christian symbols in exchange for banal, commercial imagery,” he said.
The pope recalled that he recently visited the Italian town of Greccio, where St. Francis of Assisi made the world’s first nativity scene in the 13th century.
On that occasion, the pope published a letter underscoring the value of Christmas manger scenes, calling for a renewal of this treasured tradition.
“I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares,” the pope wrote.
“It is my hope that this custom will never be lost and that, wherever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived,” he said.
This article was posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5:48 am