Morning Catholic must-reads: 01/12/11

The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California (AP Photo/Jae C Hong)

The Vatican has approved a Catholic diocese’s decision to buy the landmark Crystal Cathedral, the Orange County Register reports.

The Brazilian National Bishops’ Conference has urged the faithful to avoid religious groups that refer to themselves misleadingly as “Catholic”.

An American bishop has asked his flock not to hold hands during the Our Father at Mass (PDF of decree).

The Vatican has unveiled the Pope’s prayer intentions for December.

A family is suing gravediggers at a Catholic cemetery near Pittsburgh after they reportedly “jumped up and down on the coffin of an elderly woman to force it into a tight hole”.

Christopher White argues that World Aids Day “has become a kind of World Condom Day”.

John Allen weighs up Massimo Franco’s thesis that the Holy See’s diplomatic influence is declining dramatically.

Omar Gutierrez wonders if Catholics are obliged to oppose nuclear weapons.

And George Weigel recommends the best “real books” for Christmas.