Vatican Christmas message 2022

According to the Archbishop of Westminster, there is "no scarcity" of churchgoers this Christmas who have a "natural tendency" for the religion.

In an interview with Times Radio, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said that the Christmas holiday "tells us the value of ritual."

"There is no lack of that innate sense of faith, which is reconnecting with religious activities once again, especially in the Catholic Church," he added.

In a Christmas message aired by Vatican News on December 17, Cardinal Nichols said that Christmas was God's "extremely clear public confession of his love for every human being," equivalent to the vows a couple makes at their wedding.

Of course, God has already shown that love, he said, but it has often been disguised by clouds, his messengers, or the complexity of human history.

As a married couple could do on their wedding day, he remarked that Christmas "is a public proclamation in our flesh."

By realizing this, he said, "we start to grasp that every single word, every single gesture, and every single purposeful action of Jesus is a blossoming of this one declaration of God's love for us."

"Ritual enables us to go outside of our small bubble and connect with something that we have received, inherited, and that we aspire to carry on," the cardinal said on Times Radio.

In response to the backlash over a rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" performed at an Anglican church in Loughborough, he was answering inquiries regarding the rewriting of Christmas songs.

According to Cardinal Nichols, "for me, more significant than individual feelings that come and go" are "the ideals of the continuance of the musical repertory, of the opportunity to sing together, of looking at the rituals that have been fashioned through the ages."

This week, bishops from all around the British Isles published several Christmas messages, including his own.

Eamon Martin and John McDowell, the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Armagh, denounced the "ideology of consumer satisfaction," which cannot respect the richness of human life, in a combined Christmas address on December 21.

They claim that "the existing public notion of plenty is ineffective at bridging the gaps in our society."

"Today's society often lacks a strong sense of community and solidarity, which is necessary for a genuinely democratic society."

In "an era of algorithms and atomization" and "a worldwide system of behavior modification that may undermine human nature itself," the archbishops claim that Christmas is a challenge to our "surveillance capitalism."

"The advent of the 'word made flesh' brings us back to both the primacy of the person and their unity," they go on to say.

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