Pope snubs Vatican’s sci-fi Nativity scene, directs visitors to others

110

Vatican City

Pope Francis on Sunday appeared to add his own thumbs-down to widespread criticism of an unorthodox nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, telling visitors to instead visit a nearby exhibition of traditional crèches.
At his last Sunday blessing and address before Christmas, Francis also said the holy day that marks the birth of Jesus had been “kidnapped” by consumerism.
Speaking from his window overlooking the square, Francis twice urged people to visit an outdoor exhibit under the square’s colonnade where 100 small traditional nativity scenes are on display.
They demonstrated “how people try to use art to show how Jesus was born (and)… are a great religious education of our faith,” he said.
He made no mention of the main nativity in the centre of the square, a larger-than-life ceramic assembly of statues that includes an astronaut and a character reminiscent of Darth Vader from Star Wars.—AP