- Apr 18, 2021
Across the United States, Nativity scenes are erected despite complaints and legal threats from advocacy groups pushing separation of church and state. Many communities continue to resist demands that they remove public displays celebrating the birth of Jesus from public property.
The Christmas tree and Nativity scene are symbols of God’s love and hope, reminding us to contemplate the beauty of creation and welcome the marginalized, Pope Francis said on Friday, as the Vatican’s annual Nativity Scene was unveiled.
The Vatican’s Christmas nativity scene has an unusual addition this year: a spire from one of the dozens of churches and basilicas that were damaged or destroyed in this year’s central Italy earthquakes, which erupted between August and October.
The iconography of Christmas, especially the nativity scene, is central to Catholic culture, especially in Rome. Herewith, then, three things one can learn about Catholicism from observing the special place that the nativity scene occupies in Catholic hearts.
In a holiday season teeming with traditions, the enduring (and illegal) practice of pilfering baby Jesus statues from nativity scenes appears to be alive and well, particularly in northern New Jersey, where at least five churches have reported such thefts since Christmas Eve. The Archdiocese of Newark confirmed the thefts