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Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi blessing (AP)

Francis prays for peace in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan in Urbi et Orbi message

Francis kisses the statue of the Christ Child in St Peter's Basilica (AP)

Holy Father says Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness

The two leaders pray together in the Mater Ecclesiae chapel

Pope Francis addresses the Roman Curia on Saturday (AP)

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

A policeman guards the scene of the accident today (PA)

Holy Father thanks God there were no fatalities after last’s night accident

Francis will be saying confession for the next few weeks (AP)

The Pope of forgievness wishes to encourage both priests and laypeople

Pope Francis (CNS)

Conservatives are suspicious of, liberals excited by, the consultation of the laity on church teachings on contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce. But the teachings won’t change

The people and the stories making the news in what was a momentous year for the Church

Archbishop Vincent 
Nichols (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

‘It is a privilege to assist in the important task of appointing bishops,’ said the Archbishop of Westminster

Pope Francis is presented with a gift by Matias Lammens, president of San Lorenzo in St Peter's Square, earlier this year Below: The Pope meets three homeless men at the Vatican on the morning of his birthday (CNS)

Pontiff has breakfast with group of homeless people on the morning of his 77th birthday