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Pope Francis. Photo: Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

Pope Francis on Monday privately met with American Jesuit Rev. James Martin, who has been criticized by conservative U.S. Catholics for advocating for members of the LGBT community, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: While most of the pope's private meetings are kept confidential, the Vatican noted the conference with the Martin on a list of the pope’s daily activities.

The big picture: Martin, who authored “Building a Bridge,” a book arguing that the LGBT community feels unwelcome in the church and that the church should reach out to members of LGBT community, has in the past been disinvited to Catholic seminaries because of his advocacy.

Between the lines: "Official church teaching calls for gay men and lesbians to be respected and loved, but considers homosexual activity 'intrinsically disordered,'" per the AP.

Go deeper: Pope Francis denounces countries that sell weapons but deny refugees

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
59 mins ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.