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Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi Christmas day blessing (AP)

The Pope said his Christmas message ‘goes out to the ends of the earth to reach all peoples, especially those scarred by war’

Pope Francis waves to faithful prior to delivering the Urbi et Orbi Christmas day blessing from the main balcony of St Peter's Basilica (AP)

In his Urbi et Orbi blessing, the Pope called for an end to the fighting in Syria and other war-torn countries

Pope Francis kneels as he celebrates Midnight Mass in St Peter's Basilica (AP)

Christians must avoid being ‘concerned for gifts but cold toward those who are marginalised’

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is a signatory of the Christmas message (CNS)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 23/12/16

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

A man dressed as Santa Claus stands on the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem (AP)

A tale of three Christmases

In the birthplace of Christianity, the different calendars used by churches mean that Christmas comes more than once a year

Stop! New Year is the time for filling your house with friends and feasting (AP)

The party must go on – yes, into February

The modern tendency is to start and end Christmas early. Let’s return to our roots and celebrate until Candlemas

Tory Island

The ‘king’ of Tory island said the small community was extremely grateful

Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Schönborn leave a session of the family synod in October 2015 (CNS)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 22/12/16

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

Mgr Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda, right, pictured alongside journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi and public relations expert Francesca Chaouqui at the Vatican trial (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

Mgr Vallejo was found guilty of passing confidential documents to journalists

Rescue workers inspect the scene where  the lorry crashed into a Christmas market in Berlin (CNS)

The German Bishops’ Conference has called for a ‘Day of Prayer for Harassed and Persecuted Christians’, scheduled for December 26