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Nativity scene


New York authorities have found the mother who left her newborn baby in a manger in a nativity scene in a church on November 23.

The woman will not be charged, officials say.

The district attorney of Queens said the mother had been interviewed but he would not name her.

New York’s safe haven law allows newborns to be left anonymously at a church but it must be left with someone or the authorities must be alerted.

Brooklyn Bishop Octavio Cisneros said the baby boy was a “miracle child”.

In a statement on November 25, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said: “After a full review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the discovery of a newborn infant this past Monday in a crèche inside of Holy Child Jesus church – including locating and interviewing the mother – my office has determined that no criminal prosecution of the child’s mother is warranted.”New York nativity baby

He added: “It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found.”

The newborn had been found by church custodian Jose Moran after he returned to the empty chapel after lunch on November 23.

Jose Moran heard the baby crying and found it wrapped in towels in the manger with its umbilical cord still attached.

CCTV footage showed the mother arriving at the church with the baby and leaving without him.

Other footage had shown the woman earlier entering a shop and leaving with newly bought towels.

Emergency services took the baby to hospital where he is in good health.

Churches, hospitals, fire stations and police stations can all be safe havens for leaving babies anonymously.


La Roche-Sur-Yon officials have banned a nativity scene, in the latest row over France’s secular traditions.

A judge in Nantes ruled that it was a “religious emblem” and incompatible with the French principle of “religious neutrality in public spaces”.

Town officials have reluctantly removed a figure of baby Jesus, plaster animals and a desk-sized stable they had erected in the local council building.

A local senator denounced the ruling.

France’s strict secularism laws mean that religious symbols are banned from public spaces such as schools, hospitals and local councils.

Secularism was a founding principle of the French Republic and was enshrined in a 1905 law separating Church and State.Nativity scene banned in France

“This decision is grotesque,” said Senator Bruno Retailleau in a statement.

“Next we’ll be banning epiphany cakes at the Elysee Palace.”

Bruno Retailleau also argued that it was unfair as in Paris the mayor hosted a dinner celebrating the Muslim month of Ramadan every year.

Jean Regourd, a member of the secular Free Thinking Society, lodged the complaint against the nativity scene but denied attacking a tradition that is now part of secular French culture.

“It’s a child in a stable with a cow and a donkey,” he said.

“It is clearly a religious symbol, there’s no doubt about it. And these local council buildings were built in the 1980s so there is no local nativity tradition to speak of.”

Bruno Retailleau has said he will appeal against the ruling but admits that keeping the nativity on display would be an “illegal act of civil disobedience”.


Pope Francis was visiting the parish of St. Alphonso Maria dei Liguori, in the district of Justine, on the outskirts of Rome when an onlooker placed a baby lamb over his neck.

The pontiff was at the site to spend the afternoon of the Epiphany festival there where parishioners had set up a special nativity scene.

More than 200 people took part in the re-enactment, wearing period costumes and playing the parts of villagers, artisans and street sellers. People lined the sides of the road leading to the church and watched from rooftops and balconies of surrounding buildings.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis greeted each of the participants and many of the parishioners who attended.

One special guest lay waiting in a small hut: a 2-month-old baby named Francesco, who had been baptized that morning and played the role of Jesus in the pageant.

Pope Francis visiting the parish of St. Alphonso Maria dei Liguori in Rome’s outskirts

Pope Francis visiting the parish of St. Alphonso Maria dei Liguori in Rome’s outskirts

A woman dressed as a shepherd placed the small lamb on Pope Francis’ shoulders. Children sang a Christmas song and gave the pope a bouquet of red roses.

At the end of his visit, Pope Francis talked about the importance of a new year beginning with Jesus, who stays by everyone’s side to overcome evil. He asked everyone to pray for children who would be born in 2014 and for all grandparents, who he said are the source of wisdom.

The priest who organizes the parish’s live Nativity scene each year said he had invited Pope Francis just a few days earlier and the pope had accepted immediately.

“The pope was so happy. He told me <<Keep it up. Don’t get discouraged>>,” Father Dario Criscuoli told journalists.

According to the Vatican newspaper, the priest said Pope Francis told him” “Surely to put something like this together you have to be crazy, but that’s OK; God likes some things that are crazy.”

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