Morning Catholic must-reads: 12/12/11

The faithful listen to the Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday (AP Photo)

Christians are called to observe Advent without being distracted by commercialism, Benedict XVI said at yesterday’s Angelus (video).

The Pope said that Christmas would be “very difficult” for many this year as he celebrated Mass at the Rome parish of Santa Maria delle Grazie on Sunday morning (video).

Cardinal John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1984 to 2009, died on Sunday, aged 76.

The Diocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka has observed a day of prayer for a member of Mother Teresa’s order accused of selling children.

The cathedral of Hanoi archdiocese has been named a minor basilica, becoming the fourth in Vietnam.

Cuba’s bishops have said that they will prepare for Pope Benedict’s visit next year with a programme of evangelisation.

CNS names the top Catholic news story of 2011.

John Allen names “the most important Catholic story of our time“.

Caroline Farrow, Fr Ray Blake and George Weigel comment on Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster’s stance on civil partnerships.

Jimmy Akin is stunned by Archbishop Charles Chaput’s first pastoral letter to the people of Philadelphia.

Jeffrey Tucker explains briefly “why Catholic music is such a mess”.

Deal Hudson and Matt Smith argue that the Catholic vote in the 2012 US presidential election is still up for grabs.

David Clayton explains why faces in icons are sometimes green.

And the blogger Remus claims that Star Wars is an allegory of the Second Vatican Council.