Bethlehem pilgrims mark Christmas

Thousands of pilgrims have been celebrating Christmas with a mass in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, amid tight security.

They include about 200 Christians from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, whom Israel granted permission to make the journey to Bethlehem.

Pope Benedict XVI has been leading the traditional celebration of Midnight Mass at the Vatican.

Most of the world’s 2.1 billion Christians mark Christmas this week.

Read more>>

Pope expresses hope that aid workers be allowed to help cyclone victims in Myanmar

International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: May 30, 2008


VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI expressed hope Friday that international aid and organizations would be allowed in Myanmar to help victims of the Cyclone Nargis.

The pope made the remarks in a meeting with bishops from Myanmar Friday at the Vatican.

An agreement was reached last week under which aid workers would be allowed in to the Asian country. But human rights and aid groups complained Friday that Myanmar’s military government was still hindering the free flow of international help for victims of Cyclone Nargis. Continue reading