Pope: Christmas a sign of hope amid difficulties of pandemic

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says the Christmas season provides reason for hope amid the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic. Francis noted during his Sunday blessing that the Vatican’s Christmas tree had gone up this week in St. Peter’s Square, and work is underway to build the life-size Nativity scene next to it. Francis pointed to the tree from his studio window over the square and said such symbols of Christmas “are signs of hope, especially in this difficult period.” He urged the faithful to recall the true meaning of Christmas and lend a hand to the neediest. He said “there’s no pandemic, there’s no crisis that can extinguish this light.”