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At Christmas Eve Mass, pope urges space for God

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict says he's worried that "there is no room left for God" in our hectic and technology-driven lives.

During Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican, the pontiff added that if there's no room for God, then there's no room "for children, for the poor, for the stranger."

In his homily, Benedict cited the gospel account of Mary and Joseph finding no room at the inn and ending up in a stable that sheltered the baby Jesus.

He urged people to reflect upon what they are able to find time for in their busy lives.

The pope presided over Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, packed with tourists, Italians and other faithful. He waved as he glided up the center aisle on a wheeled platform guided by his aides. As a men's choir chanted, Benedict sprinkled incense around the altar, and wished the faithful "peace" in Latin.

The pontiff prayed that Israelis and Palestinians live in peace and freedom. And he asked the faithful to pray for Syria and Iraq.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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