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

The Nativity shows ‘that God is Father and that his patient fidelity is stronger than darkness and corruption’

An elderly Sri Lankan prays at a roadside shrine of St Anthony in Colombo (AP)

Official insist Francis’s trip next month is on schedule

An Iraqi Christian child who fled violence in Mosul (CNS)

Francis writes Christmas message of support to beleaguered Christians in the Middle East

The synod fathers attending a session of the family synod (AP)

Reflections ‘will aid the process of true spiritual discernment that the Holy Father has asked the Church to engage in’

Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad (CNS)

Patriarch Sako dismisses fears over Pope Francis’s safety were a visit to take place

Pope Francis appealed to officials to take care of their spiritual life (CNS)

In his annual end of year address to Vatican officials, Francis says he prays daily to the English martyr

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for an audience with members of the Italian Olympic Committee (CNS)

Francis made the comments to members of the Italian Olympic Committee

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’

'Scapegoats are set apart as such to make society feel better about itself' (CNS)

It’s just as bad in the Church of England, and worse in society at large

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