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The Vatican Christmas tree is positioned in St Peter's Square (CNS)

An 82-feet-tall Christmas tree was erected in St Peter’s Square last week

Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach meeting Benedict XVI's during a Mass in St Peter's Basilica in 2006 (AP)

Pope Francis praised Fr Kolvenbach’s ‘complete fidelity to Christ and his Gospel’

Pope Francis speaking in St Peter's Square on Sunday (AP)

Francis spoke in St Peter’s Square on the First Sunday of Advent

Members of the Cuban community dance in the street as they react to the death of Fidel Castro  (AP)

At Mass, priests prayed for ‘an end to communism, especially in Cuba and Venezuela’

Pope Francis meets President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam during a private audience at the Vatican (CNS photo/Maurizio Brambatti via Reuters)

The 15-minute meeting follows a steady improvement in relations between the two states

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra (CNS)

Abandoning a belief in absolute moral norms would be a catastrophe for the Church

Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, and US Cardinal Raymond Burke at a March for Life in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Kazakhstani bishop hails ‘courageous’ cardinals who wrote to Pope Francis asking for clarity

Every time the Pope gets airborne, editors hungrily await spicy quotations (AP)

What Trump and Francis have in common

Both Pontiff and President-elect have caused the press to exclaim ‘Did he really just say that?’

Pope Francis (AP)

The appointments were announced by Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Achbishop Christophe Pierre

Pope Francis arrives in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican for his weekly general audience (AP)

Doubts about faith should spur deeper study and prayer, Pope tells general audience