POPE PAUL will celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass in flood
damaged Florence Cathedral after a 31-hour car journey from Vatican City earlier in the evening.
After the Mass he will rest for a few hours in the residence of Cardinal Florit, Archbishop of Florence, across the square, and be driven back to Rome to celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at 11.15 a.m. Then he will give the traditional pontifical blessing "to the city and the world" from the central balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.
It has been customary in the past for the Pope to celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass in the Sistine Chapel for members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. This year, that Maxi will he celebrated by Cardinal Cicoguani, Papal Secretary of State.
There is no indication yet of where the Pope will say the last of the three Masses permitted to priests at Christmas. In the past he has followed the custom inaugurated by Pope John and gone to one of the poor parishes on the outskirts of Rome.
Eucharistic Congress in London.
Speaking from the crypt of the new Liverpool Cathedral on Sunday Bishop Harris said one may love the new £4 million circular building or loathe it, but it cannot be ignored.
He said he realised it was of an unusual design, but it was deliberately planned this way. "The high altar has been plucked from its sedate remoteness and placed firmly and frankly — and uncompromisingly—in the very centre."
Bishop Harris said the Cathedral was designed for activity. Gone are the rood screens, pillars, choir stalls and anything else which might suggest a barrier between God and the people of God.
"This is not part of a decline towards a non-church," said Bishop Harris, whose address was televised. "On the contrary this building may be stripped of ecclesiastical briea-brac, but it is stripped for action.