Yup, the mainstream (and other) media is still misunderstanding statements by the Pope and the Vatican higher-ups.
Yup, the Pope and his Curial bureaucracy are still acting like most people understand Vatican stuff, instead of phrasing and translating and annotating what they say in order to avoid misunderstandings.
So yes, priestly celibacy is still a discipline and not a doctrine (and there are married priests in various Eastern rites and under various pastoral provisions), but the default for Latin Rite Catholic priests is still celibacy, and bishops and monks east and west still have absolute celibacy.
Similarly, the Catholic Church still believes that God calls all men and women to follow God’s laws and perform good acts to the extent that they know those laws and their moral obligations; that God will judge their actions accordingly; that God is willing to have mercy upon all who ask Him contritely. However, God did all the salvation history stuff from the fall onward, let us have the Bible, became man, and established the Catholic Church, all as His preferred way to reveal His will and His love, and to provide us with His grace. So of course atheists have a chance, but of course it’s better to have the fullness of all the gifts God gave us for salvation.
Nothing has changed.
The sad thing is, I couldn’t even bother to remember or get worked up about the latest news kerfuffles, because I could tell right away that they must be bad reporting. But I suppose this kind of meh attitude is why the Curia can’t be bothered to have better press liaisons, especially when everybody in Italy is just coming back from summer vacation and not everybody has A/C.
But unless you follow the blogs or EWTN or some other source that does deep coverage, the average Catholic and the average non-Catholic are continually getting bad information about this stuff.