Angering Roman Catholics around the world, the Pope made a confusing and ill-timed statement in his Urbi et Orbi Blessing on Christmas Day, in which he slighted the Virgin Mary and said Jesus was born ‘in the womb of the church.’
Francis made the statements from the Loggia of the Vatican Basilica, per tradition. His statement, however, was anything but traditional.
You can find the transcript of Urbi et Orbi 2019 here.
The Pope’s words began with…
“From the womb of Mother Church, the incarnate Son of God is born anew this night.”
Francis then went on to lift up prayers for the world’s downtrodden, mostly from the Arab world. Francis prayed for the Lebanese, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and the “Middle East” in general before praying for Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and the Congo.
Many Catholics were upset at his phraseology.