- Prayer for today
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to create a new monastic community at his London residence of Lambeth Palace. Like many experiments with innovative models of religious life, it will combine aspects ancient and modern
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- Bishops’ general secretary, Mgr Marcus Stock, to lead cash-strapped diocese of Leeds
- Cardinal condemns ‘repugnant’ slaughter of David Haines by IS as Pope Francis foresees World War III
- Cohabitees, divorcee and single parent among brides and grooms married by Pope in Vatican ceremony
- Independent Scotland would need its own papal ambassador
- If there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, why not ordain women to the diaconate? Michael Phelan
- Christians and Yazidis in Iraq: unwanted guests in their own country John Eibner, Christian Solidarity International
- Church should rethink its attitude to adoption Katherine Backler
Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Manger Square in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations. The nearby Church of the Nativity is said to be the site of the manger in Bethlehem where Christ was born. In recent years the numbers of pilgrims have risen as efforts continue to devise a peaceful solution to Middle East troubles.
Among those who attended the celebrations was the Latin Patriarch who was driven through an Israeli checkpoint to reach the church. It took him 90 minutes to reach the shrine. Three gates normally kept shut were opened to allow the Patriarch Archbishop Fouad Twal to make this way through. “We have to be brothers with each other”, he said.