Óscar Romero, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980, is canonized by Pope Francis. Six other canonizations, including that of Pope Paul VI, are also announced.
Pope Francis indicates that contraceptives could be allowed, as the "lesser of two evils" vis-à-vis the sin of abortion, in addressing the life-threatening problem the Zika virus presents. He noted that Pope Paul VI, "in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape".
Pope Francis, in his annual pre-Christmas speech, urged the Roman Curia (cardinals and bishops who direct Holy See actions), to follow his "catalogue of virtues," e.g., to show more maturity, honesty, humility, and sobriety in their tasks. He listed "Curial antibiotics" to treat the "15 ailments of the Curia" he outlined last year and which still plague the Vatican.
The Vatican announces Mother Teresa's eligibility for canonization after a Vatican spokesman confirmed Pope Francis' recognition of a second miracle attributed to her involving the healing of a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumors. The Vatican has yet to confirm a canonization date for Teresa.
The Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero, assassinated at the start of the Salvadoran Civil War, is beatified in Pope Francis's name, by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in San Salvador.
Pope Francis closes the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, a preparatory meeting which had as its theme the pastoral challenges to the family, with a Mass at the Vatican—with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and about 70,000 in attendance—featuring the beatification of Pope Paul VI, who concluded and implemented Vatican Council II and gained fame for writing the still-controversial "Humanae Vitae" sexual ethics encyclical.