Pope Francis led the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, urging people in the developed world to seek a simpler, less materialistic life and condemning the yawning gap between the rich and the poor.
The 82-year-old Pope, who leads the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, said people should seek not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity.
In news reported by Vatican news, he said that if people spent their lives being selfish then their heart would remain barred from God’s light.
The message continues a theme of supporting the world’s poor that has been central to Pope Francis’s five years in the role.
He has previously spoken against the world’s financial system, blaming it for making the rich richer at the expense of the poor.
Last year, his Christmas Eve message focused on migrants, with him urging the world not to forget the plight of millions of people driven away from their homes.