Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN – Pope Francis has named nine new members to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, including abuse survivors or the parents of survivors, the Vatican said.
VATICAN – No physician should be forced to choose between violating his or her conscience and facing professional sanctions when defending human life, said the president of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations.
VATICAN – Prosperous nations where foreign women are forced into prostitution need to drop their hypocrisy and "face the idea that they are part of the problem, rather than turning away, proclaiming their innocence," Pope Francis said.
ROME – The president of the German bishops' conference urged priests to provide better pastoral care to Catholics who are homosexual, but he said, "I think that would not be right" when asked if he could imagine the Catholic Church blessing gay couples.
VATICAN – Catholics who have accused top members of the Roman Curia of making overtures to China's communist government without the knowledge of Pope Francis are "fostering confusion and controversy," said the director of the Vatican press office.
ROME – After special study, the German bishops' conference decided to stick with the traditional wording in the Lord's Prayer while the Italian bishops' conference has decided to change the words of the prayer in their translation of the Roman Missal.
VATICAN – The idea of exceptionally ordaining older married men of proven virtue to celebrate the Eucharist in isolated Catholic communities is something that should be discussed, said Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
VATICAN – In its continuing coverage of the U.S. immigration debate, the Vatican newspaper noted media reports that President Donald Trump "used particularly harsh and offensive words about immigrants" from several countries.
VATICAN – Foreign trips, a focus on the rights and needs of migrants and refugees and a Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people all are on the 2018 calendar for Pope Francis.

VATICAN – The Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square is not getting rave reviews: The backdrop does not look like a stable and the characters in need – hungry, naked, dead, imprisoned – don't exactly evoke a silent night when all was cozy, calm and bright. Franciscan Father John Puodziunas said he didn't like it at first.