Vatican City: Pope Francis on Sunday, local time, appeared to add his own thumbs-down to widespread criticism of an unorthodox nativity scene in St Peter’s Square, telling visitors to instead visit a nearby exhibition of traditional mangers.

At his last Sunday blessing and address before Christmas, Francis also said the holy day that marks the birth of Jesus had been “kidnapped” by consumerism.

Speaking from his window overlooking the square, Francis twice urged people to visit an outdoor exhibit under the square’s colonnade where 100 small traditional nativity scenes are on display.

Papal disapproval: a view of the Nativity in front of St Peter's Basilica.

Papal disapproval: a view of the Nativity in front of St Peter’s Basilica.Credit:AP

They demonstrated “how people try to use art to show how Jesus was born (and)… are a great religious education of our faith,” he said.



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