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The Christmas tree and Nativity scene outside St Peter's Basilica (AP)

Francis says Vatican Christmas decorations carry ‘a message of light, hope and love’

San Lorenzo celebrate a goal in their win over Auckland City (PA)

San Lorenzo will play in Club World Cup Final after victory over Auckland City

A choir of friars singing at a ceremony honouring St Francis (CNS)

Brother Michael A Perry explains ‘grave situation’ in letter

Pope Francis (CNS)

Francis spoke to leaders of the German Lutheran Church earlier this week

Iraqi Kurdish forces survey a bridge rigged with explosives by Islamic State militants, as they inspect the area in Zumar, Iraq. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)

Kurdish forces are claiming their biggest victory yet against Islamic State militants

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith with Pope Francis in Rome in February (CNS/Paul Haring)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 19/12/14

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Women gather at a chapel in a camp set up for Ukrainian refugees in August (CNS)

Warning comes 25 years after Catholicism was re-legalised in the country

A screenshot of the video appeal

Bishop Egan of Portsmouth issues video message urging Catholics to ‘come home for Christmas’

The Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in El Cobre, Cuba (Photo: CNS)

Pope hails ‘noble’ task of diplomacy in address to new ambassadors

Concepta Wood and Mary Doogan with Paul Tully and John Smeaton of SPUC outside the Supreme Court (Photo: SPUC)

Neil Addison says Supreme Court decision limiting conscientious objection is ‘not a good result for nurses or freedom’