Pope laments 'materialistic' Christmas mentality

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized "materialistic" ways of celebrating Christmas, pressing the Vatican's campaign against unbridled consumerism. His brief comments, delivered from the window of his private studio to pilgrims below in St. Peter's Square, built on his dismay expressed Saturday that younger boys and girls are caught up in consumer pursuits. "The way of living out, and perceiving, Christmas unfortunately quite often suffers from a materialistic mentality," Benedict said. Addressing English-speaking pilgrims, the pope said he was praying that the approaching Christmas celebration "will fill your hearts with redeeming hope."