A daily guide to what's happening in the Catholic Church

Physicist Stephen Hawking met Pope Francis at a scientific gathering at the Vatican yesterday (video, full text).

A priest in Aleppo has asked his “powerless and fearful” flock to pray for peace during Advent.

Fidel Castro was “a sincere friend of the Russian Orthodox Church”, Patriarch Kirill has said in a condolence message (full text).

Archbishop Eamon Martin has opened a new missionary seminary in Ireland.

Andrea Gagliarducci argues that Misericordia et Misera signals “a new direction in Pope Francis’s pontificate”.

Gregory DiPippo reports on Thailand’s first Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy.

And Mgr Charles Pope says he has discovered a prayer for the internet from the 1946 Roman Ritual.

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