Morning Catholic must-reads: 19/12/12

Pro-life protests, like this one in Dublin, could be banned at Cardiff University (PA)

A proposed new law on abortion in Ireland will “pave the way for the direct and intentional killing of unborn children“, four Irish archbishops said yesterday (full text).

Christians are the largest religious group in the world, followed by Muslims and “the unaffiliated”, a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has found (executive summary).

Three nurses who served with the Red Cross during the Spanish Civil War could be declared martyrs, according to Rome Reports (video).

Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogotá, Colombia, has become the latest senior Church figure to join Twitter (@cardenalruben).

Mark Shea says the Irish novelist Colm Tóibín’s critically praised book, The Testament of Mary, is “a by-the-numbers hatchet job written in sensitive, spare and poetic diction“.

Dylan Parry wonders why there is a rush to advance the Cause of Pope Paul VI.

And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has joked that the 85-year-old Pope Benedict has shown him up by grasping Twitter long before he did.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.