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Make space for God, says Pope in Xmas sermon

London, December 25, 2007

Pope Benedict led the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas with a midnight mass, urging people to find time and space for God, the needy and the suffering.

Benedict, marking the third Christmas season of his reign, said a solemn mass for about 10,000 people inside St. Peter's Basilica on a chilly night. The ceremony was broadcast live to 42 countries.

Wearing gold and white vestments, the 80-year-old pontiff wove his sermon around today's significance of the birth of Jesus.

He said the fact that Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn in Bethlehem had modern parallels.

"In some way, mankind is awaiting God, waiting for him to draw near. But when the moment comes, there is no room for him," he said.




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