Bells rang out in churches around the world as Christians marked the birth of Christ. Pope Francis celebrated midnight Mass at the Vatican against a backdrop of scandal and division in the Catholic church.
The pope is striving for a different kind of Catholic Church — one that commits to ecology and the poor. But he is reluctant to institute the reforms hoped for in Europe and North America, DW's Christoph Strack writes.
The pope has urged people to put their smartphones aside — and reconnect with their families. The Catholic leader cited Jesus, Mary and Joseph as leading examples for families to follow.
Speaking at the Vatican on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year, Pope Francis has said people should "resist the dazzling lights of consumption" ahead of Christmas.
Amid an atmosphere of global conflict, the pope has called for peace in his annual Christmas message. The church itself has been plagued by recent scandals and opposition.
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