Pope Francis: Christmas this year will be a 'charade'

Christmas will be a "charade" this year because the "whole world is at war", Pope Francis said yesterday in a sermon at the Vatican.

He spoke of "so many innocent victims" from conflicts around the globe and children's lives blighted by a lack of education.

The Pontiff also warned that those who made war and the arms dealers who profited from it were "cursed" by God.

Speaking during Mass at the Casa Santa Maria, he said:

We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes - all decked out - while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace�. The whole world is at war.

The Pope has repeatedly condemned arms dealers for their role in fuelling conflict. He returned to the theme to give a furious denunciation of the trade.

"What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?" he asked. "What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.

A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be - a little here, a little there - there is no justification, and God weeps. Jesus weeps.

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