Morning Briefing, Roman Style

Welcome to the Rome-centric version of your weekly international edition of the daily briefing, where we highlight the most recent news out of or about the Vatican.

But, first: This Advent season, NCR is joining with our sister publications, Celebration and Global Sisters Report to share Advent resources. Whether you're looking for Scripture study, some meditative reflections or an inspiring read, check out Our Celebration of Advent page.

Pope Francis expressed concern at his weekly general audience Dec. 6 about U.S. President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying he could not "keep silent about my deep concern." Francis urged respect for "the status quo of the city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations."

Francis also spoke in his general audience about his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, saying he saw "the future of Asia" especially in the young people he met with during the Nov. 27-Dec. 2 visit.

You can catch up with our coverage of the papal trip at our round-up page here. Francis explained some of the strategy behind the visit on the papal flight back to Rome, telling journalists he "did not negotiate with the truth" in private meetings with Myanmar's leaders.

Twenty-one months after the publication of Amoris Laetitia, Catholic bishops around the world are still hashing out the meaning of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, known in English as "The Joy of Love." The pope has now ordered that a letter he wrote some Argentine bishops about the document be published in the "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," the official record of Vatican documents and acts. In the letter, the pontiff says a series of guidelines from the Argentine bishops "explains precisely" the teaching of Amoris Laetitia.

New for Lent: Daily reflections on food, faith and  climate from NCR's EarthBeat. Read now>

On a related matter, Francis also told bishops around the world late last month to exercise new authority he granted them in 2015 that allows them to streamline the process for obtaining annulments in the Catholic Church.

As we prepare for Christmas, Pope Francis said Dec. 3 that Advent is a time to be "watchful and alert," and to try to "counter the indifference and cruelty" present in the world. 

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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