Pope says spend less on Christmas, give to Ukraine

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis Wednesday called on people to spend less on Christmas gifts and celebrations, and to donate the money saved to those living in war-torn Ukraine.
“It’s good to celebrate Christmas. But let’s reduce the level of Christmas spending a bit,” Francis said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
“Let’s have a more humble Christmas, with more humble gifts. Let’s send what we save to the people of Ukraine, who need it,” he said.
Nearly 10 months into the war, difficulties with the fighting have deepened as winter sets in and Russia pounding Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The missile strikes have been crippling, causing periodic blackouts of electricity, heat, water and telephones across swathes of Ukraine.
Ukrainians are “suffering so much. They are hungry, cold. So many people are dying because there are no doctors or nurses,” the pope said.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Western allies pledged an extra billion euros ($1.1 billion) in emergency winter aid to help the country weather the onslaught from Russia .


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