(In paragraph 6, fixes typo to say “than,” not “that)
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis, leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, said on Friday that people who are indifferent to the poor offend God, urging all to “look beyond all the lights and decorations” and remember the neediest.
Francis, ushering in the ninth Christmas of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for about 2,000 people, with participation restricted by COVID-19 to about a fifth of the size of pre-pandemic years.
Minutes before the Christmas Eve Mass started, Italy reported a second successive record daily tally of COVID-19 cases, with new…