Pope calls Virgin birth "unequivocal" truth in new book
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict published the last part of his trilogy on the life of Jesus on Tuesday, delivering an early childhood narrative which strongly reaffirms the doctrine of the virgin birth as an "unequivocal" truth of faith.
In the book, 137 pages in its English version, Benedict also urges his readers to stop seeing God as someone who limits personal freedom.
"The Infancy Narratives - Jesus of Nazareth" will be published around the world in some 20 languages. It goes on sale on Wednesday.
It is bound to be another international bestseller like the previous volumes. The Vatican said a million copies had already been printed and more runs were expected soon.
Divided into a foreword, four chapters and an epilogue, it traces and analyses the gospel narratives from the birth of Jesus to his presentation in the temple at the age of 12.
The previous two volumes dealt with the adult life of Jesus and his public ministry.
One section of the book is called "Virgin Birth - Myth or Historical Truth?"
The Church teaches that Jesus is the son of God and was not conceived through sexual intercourse but by the power of the Holy Spirit, one part of the divine trinity. Continued...