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Iraqi Christians in America pray to be reunited with families at Christmas

A woman wipes her tears during a ceremony in the Saint George church in Bashiqa, Iraq (AP)

Displaced Christians are praying for relatives they had to leave behind in Iraq

Pope Francis holds his assistant Sandro Mariotti's arm at today's general audience (AP)

Pope Francis: everything in Amoris Laetitia was supported by the synod

The Pope said that in a synodal Church there was ‘a movement from high to low’

More than 1,000 Burmese Catholics fled to China before the bombing took place (CNS)

Catholic church bombed as fighting intensifies in Burma

Church bombed as tensions between state military and ethnic groups in northern Burma escalate

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience (AP)

Pope: ‘Amid the darkness, hold fast to light of hope’

At his general audience, Pope Francis gave the first in a series of talks about hope

Congolese President Joseph Kabila  (CNS)

Congolese president accepts bishops’ offer to mediate crisis

The bishops have warned of chaos if government and opposition leaders fail to agree to a timeline for elections

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the comments at First Minister's Question Time in November (AP)

Bishop criticises Sturgeon for suggesting Scotland could offer abortions to Northern Irish women

The Bishop of Paisley called the First Minister’s intervention ‘very disappointing’

Cardinal Turkson: 'A great thing that could happen is have them all on stage' (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 07/12/16

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

Pope Francis (CNS)

‘At Christmas, God comes to find us and save us,’ says Pope Francis

During a morning Mass homily, the Pope prayed for the grace ‘to await Christmas sincerely recognising our wounds and sins’

A screenshot of the home page

Vatican commission launches child protection website

The site includes local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse

A woman wipes her tears during a ceremony in the Saint George church in Bashiqa, Iraq (AP)

Iraqi Christians in America pray to be reunited with families at Christmas

Displaced Christians are praying for relatives they had to leave behind in Iraq

Displaced people are seen outside their shelters in the Congolese village of Karukwat (CNS)

Congolese bishops renew offer to mediate election crisis

Bishops release statement as opposition groups prepare for mass demonstrations

Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Photo: CNS)

Hopes for transfer of Archbishop Sheen’s body high despite emergency ruling

Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s family plan to transfer the sainthood candidate’s remains from New York to Peoria

Mother Marie Adele Garnier, foundress of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre OSB, also known as the Tyburn Nuns (CNS)

French bishop opens sainthood cause for founder of Tyburn Nuns

Mother Marie Adele Garnier claimed she saw a consecrated host bleed in the hands of a priest

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How far to compromise? The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing (AP)

Rome’s dangerous gamble in China

Historic talks between Vatican and Beijing could unify the Church in China but critics say a deal with an atheist government would ‘betray Christ’

Poor Clare Colettine nuns walk back to their monastery after a funeral (CNS)

The nuns who have doctors baffled

Doctors are unable to explain why a nun’s brain fully invaded with Alzheimer’s was still working perfectly functioning

Until I went to Paray-le-Monial, I had been puzzled by these statues (CNS)

The return of Jansenism

Is there a faint echo of the Jansenist controversy in the current dubia drama?

Uncertain future: a child peers through a gate at Beijing’s Wangfujing Catholic Church (AP)

The Church must not give up its hard-won freedoms to appease China

The Church has faced state interference with bishop appointments long before China – now is not the moment to bow to political pressure

Russian writer Irina Ratushinskaya (Mikhail Evstafiev)

The inspirational Christian who defied Russia’s communists

Poet and author Irina Ratushinskaya was imprisoned in a labour camp for four years

Mother Teresa prays at the Missionaries of Charity in East Beirut (Photo: AP)

The bishops’ new liturgical document echoes the wisdom of Mother Teresa

Advent is a chance to deepen our experience of the liturgy – beginning with silence

Fr Antonio Spadaro (right) at the Vatican in 2014 (CNS)

Never mind the Twitter spats – Fr Spadaro just said something truly eye-opening

The controversies about screenshots and anonymous accounts have obscured Fr Spadaro’s startling remarks about Communion

St John Paul II (CNS)

St John Paul II truly understood the importance of absolute values

Freedom without the underpinning of clear and absolute values is not freedom at all

A cow with her triplets near Stirling, Scotland (PA)

We’re starting to care about unborn animals. Let’s take the next logical step

The ‘it’s just a clump of cells’ argument, while repeatedly applied to humans, has not yet been mentioned in the bovine debate

Egyptians protest against anti-Christian violence in Cairo, Egypt, in August (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Anti-Christian violence is now too common to attract the headlines

A mob attacked Christian homes in Egypt merely because of a rumour that a church might be built

Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Oxford Oratory, 2009 (catholicrelics.co.uk)

Yes, the Old Mass is ‘rigid’ – that’s one reason us young people love it

It’s beautiful, utterly Catholic and uncompromising

Team Domenica’s cupcake masterclass with Nigella Lawson

Charity without the guilt trip

To Herald readers: a charity without chuggers needs your support

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