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Pope made the comment during his ‘state of the world’ address to the diplomatic corps

New rules mean only those aged 65 and over will be eligible for role

Numbers released by Vatican show significant rise in attendance at papal events

From January parishes will send groups of 25 people to attend the Masses

Pope Francis and his predecessor met publicly for the second time since his election

Pope also prays for western Christians who ‘encounter abridgements of liberty’

In annual address, Pope says ‘there have been, and still are, saints’ at the Vatican

5,000-word message, entitled “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace”

Pope asks members of International Theological Commission to reflect on ‘sense of the faithful’

The commission will survey protection programmes and work with bishops & religious