And so it came to pass that in the eighth year of Pope Benedict’s reign, some tabloid and social media decreed that he had cancelled Christmas.
The day after Benedict’s latest book “The Infancy Narratives – Jesus of Nazareth” – was published on November 20, Vatican officials found some headlines they were not expecting.
“Killjoy pope crushes Christmas nativity traditions,” read one tabloid headline, claiming that Benedict had snubbed traditions such as animals in nativity scenes and caroling.
“Pope sets out to debunk Christmas myths,” ran another.
Holy Scrooge! Some blogs unceremoniously branded Benedict the new Grinch that stole Christmas and one rocketed him to the “top of the grumpy list for 2012.”
And then there was this zinger headline from a web news site: “Pope bans Christmas”.
Coming little more than a month before Christmas, it was the last thing the Vatican needed – another image problem for the pope.
Alarmed by some of the headlines, the Catholic social network XT3 felt compelled to run a blog that dissected the media’s coverage of the book.
It was headlined: “The pope has not banned Christmas”.
So what was all the fuss about?
In the 137-page book, the pope states a fact: that in the gospels there is “no reference” to the presence of animals in the stable – actually, it was probably a cave – where Jesus was born.
Bloggers had a feast with that, with one calling it “Bombshell number one”.
What some neglected was that just a few sentences down, the pope states that even today, “No representation of the crib is complete without the ox and the ass”.
He explains: The tradition of the ass and ox came from reflecting on parts of the Old and New Testaments. Christian iconography then adopted the motif early in Church history to show that even animals knew Jesus was the son of God.
In other words, the tradition that has developed over the centuries matters more than an unverifiable fact, at least as far as the case of the ox and ass in the stable is concerned.
“I think that what people need to realize here is that the pope is trying to be as historical as he can be,” said Father Robert Dodaro, professor of patristics, or the study of early Church writings, at Rome’s Patristic Institute.
“He wants to see the biblical narratives as history where possible but he is also trying to explain details in the narratives that cannot be historically verified,” he said.
Some bloggers, taking their cue from television and website headlines, even wrote that the pope had spoken out against Christmas carols.
In the book, the opposite was true.
Benedict says the evangelist Luke wrote that at the moment of Jesus’ birth the angels “said” the well-known phrase “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased”.
But in the next line he explains that “Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song”, that “the angels’ song of praise has never gone silent”, and that it is “only natural that simple believers (even today) join in their caroling on the Holy Night”.
So, no need to cancel any school performances.
Another section of the book that irked some bloggers is where the pope restates what biblical scholars have known for decades, if not centuries – that Jesus was born several years earlier than the first century AD.
Benedict writes that since King Herod died in 4 BC, Jesus was probably born “a few years earlier”. He attributes the erroneous fixing of the year of Jesus’ birth to a miscalculation by the monk Dionysius Exiguous some 500 years later.
“No one’s faith should be shaken by this book,” said Dodaro. “On the contrary, it should be fortified by this account. This is a believable account of the birth of Christ,” he said.
And in St Peter’s Square, workmen have started building the Vatican’s larger than life nativity scene, which is expected to have animals and singing angels. [Reuters]
Relaxation Of CBD In NFL – An Insight
There has been a lot of buzz around CBD in recent years, especially in the health and wellness industry.
Many sports associations and players around the world have also recognized CBD as a pro sports
However, one of the most coveted associations- the National Football League, more popularly known as
the NBD had been quite strict in its ban of cannabis related products, including CBD. But in recent times,
there seems to be some good news in store both for eh players and every CBD shop as the association is
considering lifting the blanket ban and allowing players to use CBD, which has become popular for its
What Is CBD?
Before we proceed to understand the decision of the NFL, it is important to understand what CBD is and
how it is different from the other cannabis product. CBD or cannabidiol is one of the primary chemicals
found in the cannabis plant, the other being THC. However, contrary to common beliefs, CBD is not
psychoactive in nature. It does not cause the user to feel ‘high.’ This is because high quality CBD does
not contain even trace amounts of THC, which is responsible for these reactions.
In fact, many recent studies indicate that CBD is an excellent medicine to cure several physical and
mental conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and depression.
Why Do Sportspersons Recommend CBD Use?
If you are into sports and athletics, avoiding injuries is almost impossible. While painkillers may be
helpful in managing the pain, they have numerous side effects on the other organs of the body. That is
why many players and athletes are now in favor of using CBD to manage their pains and injuries.
Sourced from organically grown hemp, CBD helps in alleviating the pain without injuring any other
organs of the body. It is no wonder that players are in favor of using CBD in place of the synthetic drugs
that are available in the market.
CBD For Sleep
For your body to perform its best, it is important for it to be well-rested and rejuvenated. This can only
happen through sound sleep. For many players, who suffer from muscle cramps and injuries, getting
proper sleep becomes a challenge. CBD can be very helpful in those circumstances as well. By soothing
the nerves, CBD helps the body to fall asleep faster and also the quality sleep that it needs.
Good sleep can also help the body in replenishing its worn and torn tissues faster.
The Changes Anticipated In NFL
The NFL, which has one of the strictest policies regarding drug testing, is now considering changing its
policies, especially the ones that are related to CBD. The players who test positive for cannabis will not
be directly suspended from the team. Rather a fine will be imposed on them as per the number of times
that they test positive.
The threshold for testing has also been changed as the players now will only be tested during the first
two weeks of the training camp, in place of the April- August testing policy that was followed earlier.
These progressive changes seem to be a direct result of the changed perception that most people have
regarding CBD today.
It is also worthy to note here that CBD is legal in all the American states, with minor restrictions on the
amount and the concentration of the product. Players are the happiest with this new move as they are
of the opinion that CBD works much better and is far less addictive than the painkillers that are given on
prescription. Even the sports associations around the world are also likely to reconsider their policy on
CBD after this change.
Actress Osas Ighodaro Celebrates Her 30th Birthday With Emotional Post
Nigerian actress, Osas Ighodaro penned an emotional note via Instagram as she clocked 30-years-old on Monday.
To mark her birthday, the single mother of one posted a monochrome photo of herself as she wished for people to continue praying for those who lost their lives during these turbulent period.
“Thank God for another year. Happy Birthday to me. If you know me, you know I absolutely love birthdays but this year it certainly hits different. I’m overwhelming grateful for life and thankful to God to be able to see another birthday bc unfortunately many haven’t and won’t have that opportunity.
I am hopeful for better days for myself, those that I love and hold dear and most certainly for my country Nigeria. I pray for unity, peace, harmony and togetherness. We all deserve it.
My birthday wish is to please continue to pray for those innocent lives lost. Please remain hopeful and focused because I truly believe better days are soon ahead by God’s grace.
Peace, Love and Blessings.”
See her post below:
Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday
An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.
Why stay at an exotic resort
Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:
Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.
Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.
Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.
Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.
You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.
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