Pope Benedict XVI has just published a new book, the third volume of his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, talking about the childhood of Jesus. Like Dan Brown's bestsellers, Herr Ratzinger promises to reveal lots of mysteries for just $US13. Or you can save the money and read the juiciest bits here, starting with the reality behind the star of Bethlehem.
- The star of Bethlehem was a supernova, the one that German astronomer Johanes Kepler said happened around 7 to 6 B.C. According to Popestronomer Benedict, that's when the baby Jesus came to this mortal world.
- The birth of Jesus is a historic reality.
- Jesus probably wasn't born in Bethlehem. It was perhaps in Nazareth.
- There were no ox or donkey in that place. That's just dumb, says the Pope!
- The Virgin was actually a virgin. That's not dumb, says the Pope! "Is it true what we said that Jesuschrist is the only son of God and that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary?" he asks. "The answer, without any reservations, is yes." And that's it. His reasoning is that God was able to do it because he has full power over matter. Real power, not like that Higgs Bosom impostor. "If he doesn't have full power over all energy and matter," the Pope points out, "then he's not God." Of course.
- Astrology is stupid, the Pope says. It's baby who guides the star, not the star that guides the kid.