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Friday, December 25, 1998 Published at 10:03 GMT


Hume: Put Christ back into Christmas

Cardinal Hume is repeating his message at Westminster Cathedral

Linda Duffin reports: Cardinal Hume argues the modern world is to blame for the decline of Christianity
The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Basil Hume, has appealed for Christ not to be squeezed out of Christmas.

Cardinal Hume urged his midnight Mass congregation at London's Westminster Cathedral not to leave out Christ either this Christmas or in the run up to the new Millennium - the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.

He said: "Look into our shop windows, study our media, ask the reason for any Christmas party. What are you celebrating?

"We have squeezed God out of our culture, and so, paradoxically, we have almost succeeded in removing Christ out of Christmas.

[ image: Hume: God squeezed out]
Hume: God squeezed out
"Can you imagine, keeping Christ out of Christmas?" the 75-year-old cardinal asked.

"I want to put Christ back into Christmas."

Cardinal Hume, the Archbishop of Westminster, said present-day society was to blame for the decline of popular Christianity and not Christianity itself for a tired message.

"The good news that God became man is not stale. We are. And we become stale if we do not reflect prayerfully enough, and often enough on the truth that should never cease to amaze us."

"What is there in that for me?" the 75-year-old cardinal asked.

"That is a very modern question, a self-regarding view from persons absorbed in self."

Cardinal Hume was later set to repeat his message at a Christmas Day Mass, also at Westminster Cathedral.

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