Morning Catholic must-reads: 27/03/12

The Pope arrives to celebrate Mass in Revolution Square, Santiago de Cuba

Pope Benedict has urged Cubans to create “open and renewed society” at a Mass attended by 200,000 people in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba (full text, video).

The Vatican has cancelled a Pontifical Academy for Life conference following criticism that it included supporters of embryonic stem-cell research.

The district superior of the Society of St Pius X in Germany has said that there are now “legitimate hopes for a satisfactory solution” to the dispute between the SSPX and the Holy See.

Rocco Palmo reports on the first day of the landmark trial of a Philadelphia archdiocese official accused of failing to protect children from clerical abuse.

John Allen says that Pope Benedict gave a distinctive “new twist to pro-life rhetoric” during his trip to Mexico.

Stephanie Mencimer argues that the US bishops received a major blow last Friday when a federal judge “essentially validated the Obama administration’s position” on contraception.

Doug Bandow welcomes the publication of a list of the top 50 worst persecutors of Christians in the world (full list).

And Vatican Radio discovers how the Cuban crocodile blessed by Pope Benedict at a general audience is coping with life in Havana zoo.