VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI tapped a tablet computer and successfully lit the world's largest electronic Christmas "tree" located in the Italian town of Gubbio.

Before turning on the tree with a tap on the Sony S Tablet, the pope addressed the citizens of Gubbio via a video link from his apartment in Vatican City Dec. 7, calling on Christians to serve as a light in the lives of others.

In his talk, the pope said that just as the tree design in Gubbio was made up of tiny individual lights, each person needs to bring light to the people and places in their lives, to their family, workplace, neighborhood, town or city.

Published in International

ROME - The church should fear the sin of its own members more than hatred against Christians, Pope Benedict XVI said.

While the church has suffered from persecution throughout its history, it "is supported by the light and strength of God" and will always end up victorious, he said.

Overcoming trials and outside threats shows how the Christian community "is the presence, the guarantee of God's love against all ideologies of hatred and selfishness," he said on the feast of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8.

Published in Vatican

HONG KONG - A year after Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to mainland Chinese Catholics, and on the eve of Beijing hosting the Olympic Games, Chinese church leaders said some positive developments have resulted but more work needs to be done to achieve the letter’s objectives.

Published in International

SYDNEY, Australia - In the longest-lasting and longest-distance trip of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to Australians and to young people from around the world about God's plan for all creation, but especially for people.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican anticipated the July 1 celebration of Canada Day with a ceremony highlighting the ministry and authority of five new Canadian archbishops.

The archbishops of “the true North, strong and free” knelt before Pope Benedict XVI June 29 and received a woolen band symbolizing the responsibility they share with him of shepherding the church’s flock. They were joined by 41 other archbishops from around the world.

Published in Canada