IN THESE PANDEMIC TIMES...

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CHRISTMAS IN THE TIME OF COVID

Date: December 28, 2020Posted by: Marionette Martinez

Everyone is in agreement that this Christmas is like no other Christmas the world has known. The suffering and death of millions, the displacement and hunger of more millions, the difficulties and challenges faced by nearly everyone on this planet have nearly pushed Christmas to oblivion. Nearly, but not quite. The resilience of people of all races has come to the fore and enabled them to hold on to the meaning of Christmas and the fulfillment of God’s promised redemption, through toned down but nevertheless hopeful celebrations of Christ’s birth.

Pope Francis spoke to Catholics around the world on Christmas Day:

"At this moment in history, marked by the ecological crisis and grave economic and social imbalances only worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, it is all the more important for us to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters," he said in his "Urbi et Orbi" ("to the city and the world") message.

This year, due to COVID safety restrictions, the pontiff delivered his remarks from a lectern inside the Vatican instead of from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for a crowd of thousands who traditionally fill the square. It was livestreamed for viewing around the world.

Pope Francis said this call for solidarity was especially aimed at "people who are the most fragile, the sick and all who at this period find themselves without work or in grave difficulty due to the economic consequences of the pandemic and to women who have been subjected to domestic violence during these months of confinement."
The pontiff also touched on the plight of children caught up by war, singling out victims in Syria, Yemen and Iraq in his Christmas message.

"On this day, when the word of God became a child, let us turn our gaze to the many, all too many, children worldwide, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, who still pay the high price of war," he said.

"May their faces touch the consciences of all men and women of good will, so that the causes of conflicts can be addressed and courageous efforts can be made to build a future of peace," he said. (CBS News)