Pope Paul, spiritual leader of 600 million Roman Catholics, ushered in Christmas at a glittering midnight mass in St.
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Background: Pope Paul, spiritual leader of 600 million Roman Catholics, ushered in Christmas at a glittering midnight mass in St. Peter's Basilica - the first time a Pontiff has done so for almost thirty years.
Traditionally, the Pope celebrates a private mass in the Sistine Chapel with the Vatican diplomatic corp. However, Pope Paul has left the Vatican three times during his ten years in office to celebrate the mass with working people.
The last time a Pope celebrated mass at St. Peter's Basilica was in 1944 when Pope Pius XII asked his war-time congregation to pray for world peace and an end to the war.
In his Christmas message to the world, Pope Paul told 30,000 followers in St. Peter's Square that modern scientific humanism was attempting to replace the Christian religion. Man was attempting to make Man his god in the name of reason.