Pope signs Financial Times article on Christmas

Says holidays are a time of joy and reflection

Pope signs Financial Times article on Christmas

Rome, December 20 - Pope Benedict XVI wrote an article for the Financial Times on the topic of Christmas, published Thursday, in which he points out that that the holiday is both ''a time of great joy and an occasion for deep reflection.'' While it is uncommon for the Holy Father to write articles for publications or make special television appearances, the Vatican's press office said it was not the only time the Pope made exception. The Pope penned the article following a request by the Financial Times itself, which asked the Holy Father to write a comment on the meaning of Christmas following his recently published book on early years of Jesus' life. ''While it is an unusual request, the Holy Father accepted,'' the Vatican press office said in a statement. The press office also recalled the Pope's ''availability'' in accepting other, unusual invitations in the past, including from Britain's BBC public television broadcaster, which also asked him for a comment on Christmas following the Pope's visit to the U.K. In the Financial Times article, titled ''A Time for Christians to Engage with the World'', the Pope writes: sets out his view that Christmas is a time for reflection as well as celebration. ''The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life. While Christmas is undoubtedly a time of great joy, it is also an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience,'' the Pope writes. ''At the end of a year that has meant economic hardship for many, what can we learn from the humility, the poverty, the simplicity of the crib scene?''

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