Pope Benedict XVI Lights A Candle – Vatican Celebrates Christmas

  • On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI lit a candle in the window of his private studio initiating Christmas Eve celebrations at the Vatican. The Catholic crowd that had congregated at St Peter's Square cheered at the glow which is said to represent the light of Christ. This year, however, at the pope's behest, the Vatican Christmas is likely to be much less lavish than other years. Instructions to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of state are to ""reduce costs in the face of a continuing inability to increase revenues". Unlike other years the traditional Nativity scene of St Peter's Square was not funded by the Roman Catholic Church but by the taxpayers. "At the end of the year, we pray that the Church, despite her shortcomings, may be increasingly recognizable as Christ’s dwelling place", the pope had tweeted a few days ago.