Pope’s ‘Urbi Et Orbi’ Address Includes Message To China

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged loyal Catholics in China to have courage in the face of communist limits on religious freedom and conscience, a Christmas Day message highlighting the tensions between Beijing and the Vatican.In B…

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged loyal Catholics in China to have courage in the face of communist limits on religious freedom and conscience, a Christmas Day message highlighting the tensions between Beijing and the Vatican.

In Bethlehem, the largest number of pilgrims in a decade gathered to celebrate Christmas, with tens of thousands flocking to the Church of the Nativity for prayers. Bombings in Nigeria and the Philippines left 11 dead and 11 injured, however, and fear in Iraq also marred the Christmas festivities.

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