The Vatican Nativity scene contains a historical-liturgical error

The Nativity scene unveiled in the Vatican on 9 December is surprisingly beautiful.

It pays tribute to the first nativity scene installed by St Francis of Assisi in Greccio in 1223.

However, it contains a historical blunder. In the background, a Franciscan celebrates Holy Mass with the back to God. Removing God from the centre of the liturgy by introducing a people's altar was a novelty introduced only in the late sixties.

Previous Vatican nativity scenes have featured controversial figures, including half-naked men.

A neutral nativity scene is not on display this year either.