Pope thanks Italian cities for Christmas tree, crèche
The Christmas tree and Nativity scene recall “the mystery of the Incarnation, the only-begotten Son of God who became man to save us, and the light that Jesus brought to the world by his Nativity,” the Pope said. “But the manger and the tree touch the hearts of all,” even nonbelievers, “because they speak of fraternity, intimacy, and friendship.”
Cuban, Miami prelates react to policy change toward Cuba
“We thank the Lord, now on the eve of Christmas, that new horizons of hope are illumining the life of the Cuban people, as the relaxation and good relations between peoples that are so close are the foundation of a promising future,” stated Cuba’s bishops, according to a Zenit report. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, home of a large Cuban-American community, said that “Pope Francis did what popes are supposed to do: build bridges and promote peace.”
Pope warns against sterile egoism rooted in a desire for power
“This too makes me think of our mother Church and of so much sterility within our Mother Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse chapel Dec. 19. He noted that when too much emphasis is placed on our ability to choose to be good by following the commandments unaided by grace, “that pelagianism that all of us carry within our bones” grows, and the Church “becomes sterile.”
Police and Knights of Columbus join forces to fight the cold
“With Christmas approaching and the weather getting colder, we are pleased to be able to work on this with the wonderful men and women of the New Haven Police Department,” stated Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a Dec. 18 Knights of Columbus press release.Hoping to continue the success of their Coats for Kids program, the Knights of Columbus have collected coats to donate to the local police department, who will then distribute the coats to the children and families in need that they meet during their regular courses of duty.
‘Sports are at home in the Church,’ says Pope
“Sport has always favored a universalism characterized by brotherhood and friendship among peoples, peace and harmony among nations; by respect, tolerance, harmony of diversity,” he continued. The Pope offered his "best wishes" to the Italian organizers, who are hoping to be chosen as hosts for the 2024 Olympic Games. But the 78-year-old Pontiff added with a smile, "I won't be around."
Vatican Christmas tree features new LED lights
The enormous fir tree, brought to Rome from the Calabria region, was strung with new LED lights, which will save energy. The same sort of LED lighting had been installed along the facade of St. Peter's basilica, and at the conclusion of the Friday ceremony, those lights were also switched on, by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of the basilica.