The Pope asks people to spend less on Christmas and give the money they save to those in Ukraine

Pope Francis today called on people to spend less on Christmas gifts and celebrations, and to donate the money saved to those in war-torn Ukraine.

The 85-year-old pontiff called for “concrete gestures” of charity for Ukrainians over the festive period during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

“It’s good to celebrate Christmas and have parties, but let’s lower the level of Christmas spending a bit,” Francis said.

‘We are going to have a more humble Christmas, with more humble gifts. Let’s send what we saved to the Ukrainian people, who need it,’ he said.

Pope Francis Today (Pictured In The Vatican) Called On People To Spend Less On Gifts And Christmas Celebrations, And Donate The Money Saved To Those In War-Torn Ukraine.

Pope Francis today (pictured in the Vatican) called on people to spend less on gifts and Christmas celebrations, and donate the money saved to those in war-torn Ukraine.

Nearly 10 months into the war, the difficulties of the fighting have worsened as winter sets in and Russia batters Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Missile attacks have been crippling, causing periodic loss of electricity, heat, water and telephone services in swathes of Ukraine.

Ukrainians are suffering a lot. They are hungry, cold. Many people are dying because there are no doctors or nurses,” the Pope said.

Let’s not forget them. Christmas, yes, in peace and with the Lord, yes, but with the Ukrainians in our hearts.’

In recent months, Francis has become increasingly critical of Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.

The Vatican has organized humanitarian deliveries in recent months, including a clothing drive to send thermal clothing to Ukrainians suffering the cold of winter with reduced heating and electricity.

Francis recently sparked a new diplomatic spat with Moscow when he blamed most of the “cruelty” in Russia’s war on Chechen fighters and other minorities, whom he said were not of “the Russian tradition.”

Russia’s ambassador to the Holy See lodged a formal protest after the comments, and Russian officials said this week that the Vatican has yet to apologize.

In another Christmas gesture, the Vatican said this week that Francis has sent letters to heads of state around the world asking them to make a “gesture of clemency” for eligible prisoners.

Pictured: Damaged Buildings In Irpin, Kyiv, Ukraine On December 13

Pictured: Damaged Buildings In Irpin, Kyiv, Ukraine On December 13

Pictured: Damaged buildings in Irpin, Kyiv, Ukraine on December 13

Francis reasoned that doing so could show “an openness to the grace of the Lord at a time marked by tensions, injustices and conflicts.”

Meanwhile, Francis on Sunday offered a harrowing glimpse of the future, saying he has seen signs of an even darker time for humanity.

He said Sunday that he has a dire vision for the world with “even greater portents of destruction and desolation.”

In his homily, the pontiff said: “It is a bitter time, filled with the roar of war, growing injustice, hunger, poverty and suffering,” but at this “dark and bewildering” time, there are “harbingers of a even greater destruction.” and desolation’.

He added that at Christmas, “God’s divine love and his coming to us tell us that this is also a propitious time for salvation, in which the Lord, through the Virgin Mother, continues to give us his Son.”

Pictured: A Destroyed Tank Outside The Village Of Kamyanka Near Izyum, Kharkiv Region, Ukraine, On December 13.

Pictured: A Destroyed Tank Outside The Village Of Kamyanka Near Izyum, Kharkiv Region, Ukraine, On December 13.

Pictured: A destroyed tank outside the village of Kamyanka near Izyum, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on December 13.

He urged the Vatican congregation “to get involved with each other without delay, to reach out to our brothers and sisters who have been forgotten and discarded by our consumerist and indifferent societies.”

Francis has frequently spoken out about Putin’s “monstrosity” after his invasion of Ukraine.

In September, Francis said Ukraine was being “martyred” and criticized Putin’s “monstrosity.” That same month, the Pope revealed that he had been involved in efforts to free 300 Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Russia.

Speaking at the time, he said he received “Ukrainian emissaries” at the Vatican, including a military chief who brought with him a list of “more than 300 prisoners.”

He made the remarks on September 15, a week before Russia and Ukraine carried out an unexpected prisoner swap involving nearly 300 people, the largest since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The Pope said: ‘They asked me to do something so that an exchange could be made. I immediately called the Russian ambassador to see if something could be done, if the prisoner exchange could be speeded up.

Earlier this month, Russia was suspected of retaliating against the pope’s comments.

The official Vatican website was taken offline on November 30 following an apparent hacking attack, the Holy See said.

“Technical investigations are underway due to abnormal attempts to access the site,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said, without giving further information.

The alleged hack came a day after Moscow criticized Pope Francis’ condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia lodged a formal protest with the Vatican over Francis’ conviction, in which the pontiff blamed most of the cruelty on Chechens and other minorities in an apparent effort to avoid criticism of ethnic Russian troops.

Francis defended his usual reluctance to call President Vladimir Putin by name, saying it was clear Ukraine is the “martyred” victim of the war.

But he also said that while it was the Russian state that invaded Ukraine, ‘generally the cruelest are maybe those who are from Russia but are not from the Russian tradition, like the Chechens, the Buryats, etc.’

Since the war began in February, thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed by Russian soldiers. Moscow has been accused of committing war crimes against the Ukrainian people, and Kyiv discovered several mass graves.

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