As Christmas approaches…

Every Christmas or Easter there is some new book either debunking or calling into question some central aspect of the birth or death of Our Lord. For this Christmas, the Pope has a cunning plan.

He has written the book himself.
The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC. But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world's one billion Catholics is striking.
Naturally the whole thing is going to be completely misapprehended by the media, as in this article. You will of course recall that section in the Catechism on "the keystones of Christian tradition". No? Then why is Nick Squires dragging in that phrase? The fact is the precise date of the Birth of Christ does not matter and never has. He is just trying to beat up a story.

Only if you don't know the first thing about the Pope would you find his remarks particularly striking. I bet John Paul II mentioned it.

I seem to remember Nick Squires writing some stupid things about Australia when he was the DT's correspondent here. Yesthat'sright. This is hilarious (it contains a prediction).