"Belgians failing to think of Jesus"

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, has accused the faithful of celebrating Christmas without thinking about Jesus Christ. The Belgian primate was speaking during Midnight Mass in Brussels Cathedral on Monday night.

The leader of Belgium's Roman Catholics, who is no stranger to controversy, said that it was like celebrating a birthday without mentioning the person whose birthday it is.

The archbishop also urged Belgian Roman Catholics to be "as intelligent as the ox and the ass in the Nativity because an ox recognises his master and the ass sees his manger, while the people miss all insight and understand naught."

The Belgian primate also dwelled on the fact that few historical figures receive as many messages of love as Jesus and the Virgin Mary: "In Jesus's time there were a lot of people who were more famous than him, but are they still alive in people's memories? Which woman sighs lovingly  'O Napoleon or O Wellington, what would I be without you in the morning?'"