(London Daily Mail) With just under 34 days until Christmas, the pope has put a dampener on the festive period by rubbishing the idea that donkeys or any other animal have a place in the traditional nativity scene.

Benedict XVI also claims angels never sang to the shepherds to proclaim Christ birth’s – trashing the much-loved carol ‘Hark! The herald angels sing’ in the process.

From this falsehood the tradition of singing carols was born, the pope says.

His views are revealed in his latest and last installment of three volumes on the life of Jesus, released today, which is set to be a worldwide bestseller.

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