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There were no animals in the manger that Jesus was born in, the Pope has declared as the Christian world gears up towards Christmas next month. The pontiff has said that the presence of animals such as cattle and donkeys used in traditional Nativity scenes are based on nothing more other than myth.
The Pope makes the statements in his new book, which is focused on offering a biography of Jesus Christ. In the new piece he explains that contrary to popular belief, and contrary to what millions across the globe are doing by decorating their nativity scenes with popular animals, Jesus' birth was not surrounded by oxen, horses, sheep and other such animals.
Pope Benedict has written in the third and final volume of his biographical piece on Jesus, "There is no mention of animals in the Gospels."
The new book is certain to become another international bestseller, and has already been put in print for millions of copies, such was the demand for the first two books in the series.
However, despite Pope Benedict's assertions in his new book, he has admitted that no one is likely to give up their animal features in their Nativity decorations. Many Catholic pilgrims may also remember seeing traditional Nativity scene decorations containing animals in St Peter's Square, Rome itself in the past.
He writes in his book, "No one will give up the oxen and the donkey in their Nativity scenes."
The Pope's new book is titled "Jesus of Nazareth – The Infancy Narratives" and was released on Nov. 21, 2012. It can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.
Here is the video trailer for the new book: