By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis led the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas on Thursday, urging those "intoxicated" by possessions and superficial appearances to return to the essential values of life. Celebrating a Christmas eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Francis, whose nearly three-year-old papacy has been marked by calls for sobriety and compassion for the less fortunate, said Christmas was the time to "once more discover who we are". He said everyone should allow the simplicity of the child Jesus, born into poverty in a manger despite his divinity, to infuse their spirit and inspire their lives. "In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential," he said in his homily. The service for about 10,000 people in St. Peter's Basilica started with a long chant in Latin, known as the Kalenda, the traditional proclamation of the birth of Jesus. The great bells of St. Peter's then rang out and the pope, dressed in white vestments, kissed a statue of the infant Jesus to start the solemn Mass. Security was tighter than normal for Christmas, with many police carrying out spot checks in the Vatican area. Everyone who entered the basilica, the largest church in Christendom, went through metal detectors. The 79-year-old Argentine pope encapsulated in his homily some of the key themes of his papacy: mercy, compassion, empathy and justice. "In a world which all too often is merciless to the sinner and lenient to the sin, we need to cultivate a strong sense of justice, to discern and to do God’s will," he said. Francis, who said earlier this week he had a slight flu, seemed tired and spoke with a slightly hoarse voice at times. While not changing fundamental Church doctrine, Francis has been calling for a more merciful and less judgmental Church, one that is more compassionate toward groups such as homosexuals and the divorced who have civilly remarried. Conservatives have criticized some of his statements, such as the now-famous "Who am I to judge" comment about homosexuals who were seeking God and had good will. The conservatives say statements like these only sow confusion among the faithful. The pope said child Jesus was calling on everyone to rethink the way they treat others. "Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy, drawn daily from the wellspring of prayer," he said. On Christmas day, Francis will deliver the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Square, from where he first appeared to the world after his election on March 13, 2013. (Additional reporting by Antonio Denti; Editing by Andrew Hay)
- In The Know by Yahoo
American woman dumbfounded by plate after ordering ‘chips and salsa’ in Italy: ‘I’ll never get over it’
A word to the wise: "Chips and salsa" doesn't mean the same thing everywhere.
The right has used this phrase for others, but doesn't think it should apply to them.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyAt the risk of awarding the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the weirdest study published in 2022. Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.Scientists
- Business Insider
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham thinks there's nothing surprising on Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes: 'I think what we would see is hardworking FBI agents doing their jobs'
Stephanie Grisham said she's not "surprised" Trump hasn't released the footage yet "only because I don't think there is anything there."
- USA TODAY
Frederick Woods, now 70, was 24 when he and two other men kidnapped 26 school children and their bus driver in Northern California and buried them.
- The Daily Beast
Tennessee Department of CorrectionA woman who shared a kiss with a prisoner during a visitation in Tennessee has been charged with murder after the inmate died shortly after their exchange.Rachel Dollard was taken into custody over the weekend by special agents from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department, the TDOC confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. She is accused of smuggling drugs into the Turney Center Industrial Complex.Dollard is facing ch
- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial in Chicago, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
For the first time after two decades of swirling allegations, R. Kelly’s former goddaughter has taken the stand as a prosecution witness in a case against the disgraced singer. Dressed in a white blazer with her hair in long braids, the woman, now 37 and testifying at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago under the pseudonym “Jane,” told the jury she had sexual contact with Kelly for the first time ...
- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Mackenzie Dipman, a "Love Island" Season 2 fan favorite, returns to the villa in Episode 27. What to know about her and her relationship with Connor.
- In The Know by Yahoo
A woman is accusing an airline of "gender discrimination" after she says she was barred from entering from its business class lounge because of her outfit.
- The Guardian
Cheney releases recording of her call to Harriet Hageman, conceding her loss in the Wyoming US House primary on Tuesday
- The Recount
Fox News’ Steve Doocy explains the real-world consequences of Republicans' FBI-bashing to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Fox News host Steve Doocey took Senator Rand Paul to task over his accusations that the FBI search was illegitimate, pointing out that the attacks on the agency are putting agents there at risk. DOOCEY: Well, and Senator absolutely Congress has oversight over the FBI and the Department of Justice and everything else. The problem is over the last week or so there's been so much violent rhetoric directed at the FBI and I heard somebody printed FBI stands for Fascist Bureauof Investigation or something like that.
I'm a former college teacher. I wish parents would teach their kids these 3 life skills before they're done with high school.
The author taught in college for nine years and shares three things all parents should be teaching their kids before they head out to college.
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
When someone fully and completely embraces a public life, there really are no personal issues. That dynamic is becoming abundantly clear with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who has fully embraced and cultivated a platform that has resulted in the aggressive pursuit of multiple business interests, has had his football career plunge into mystery with [more]
- Miami Herald
“Yesterday my world ended.”
"There's no way Trump wrote that," said "The Daily Show" host.
- The Guardian
Move designed to show muscle of a new office tasked with policing voting in the state and comes days before primary election
Sarah Palin's former in-laws threw a massive campaign party for her opponent before election night, and now they'll both be on the midterm ballot
Sarah Palin's ex-husband's parents held a pre-Election Night party for her Republican challenger, Nick Begich III.
NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson retired from the league in 2016 after nine seasons playing for the Detroit Lions. Johnson, whose first job was bagging groceries, had a lot to learn about finance when...
The Trump-backed Wyoming winner insisted on Fox News that Cheney left a "two-second message" that didn't concede the election, then hung up.
Which is healthier — an ice cream cone, a bag of Fritos or a multigrain bagel? The answer may surprise you
Research from Tufts University shows that certain foods often considered unhealthy are more nutritious than some might expect