Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

ROME -- As rumblings and grumblings grew in the press and on social media, the permanent council of the Italian bishops' conference met to discuss the problem of Christmas "midnight Mass" when the government has imposed a 10 p.m. curfew as part of its measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

VATICAN CITY -- One by one 11 senior churchmen, including two U.S. citizens -- Cardinals Wilton D. Gregory of Washington and Silvano M. Tomasi, a former Vatican diplomat -- knelt before Pope Francis to receive their red hats, a cardinal's ring and a scroll formally declaring their new status and assigning them a "titular" church in Rome.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although dogged for years by rumors of sexual impropriety, Theodore E. McCarrick was able to rise up the Catholic hierarchical structure based on personal contacts, protestations of his innocence and a lack of church officials reporting and investigating accusations, according to the Vatican report on the matter.

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican Secretariat of State has sent an explanatory note to nuncios around the world insisting that when Pope Francis spoke about civil unions, he was not changing or challenging "the doctrine of the church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years."

VATICAN CITY -- The Eight Beatitudes describe the path to holiness, but the call to meekness seems particularly challenging today, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- When Pope Francis said gay people have a right to be in a family and that gay couples needed some form of civil law to protect their rights, he was not saying that gay couples should have a right to adopt children.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis announced he will create 13 new cardinals Nov. 28, including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington.

VATICAN CITY -- While there is no doubt that Pope Francis said civil laws should protect the rights of gay couples, some mystery shrouds the context in which he said it and the way it is used in a new film.

ROME -- The president of Focolare has accepted the resignations of the lay movement's top leaders in France and announced the group will ask an independent committee to investigate how allegations of the sexual abuse of minors have been handled.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis often has expressed openness to the idea of laws recognizing civil unions, including for gay couples, to protect their rights.