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December 24, 2009: French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray suffers a fractured hip in an attack on Pope Benedict XVI (pictured) by a Swiss woman at the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. (Los Angeles Times)
December 19, 2009: Pope Benedict XVI approves decrees of heroic virtue for nine Servants of God, including his predecessors Pius XII and John Paul II, granting them the title venerable, and advancing their causes for sainthood. (The Sunday Times, ZENIT)
December 3, 2009: Following a meeting in the Apostolic Palace, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Pope Benedict XVI agree to upgrade Kremlin–Vatican relations to full diplomatic ties with a Russian embassy to the Holy See and an apostolic nuncio in Moscow. (BBC News)
December 2, 2009: American Cardinal John Patrick Foley announces that after 25 years, he will no longer provide English language commentary during broadcasts of the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass from St. Peter's Basilica. (CNS)