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Order of Malta leader: ‘Vatican investigators have conflict of interest’

Order of Malta leader Fra’ Matthew Festing talks to Pope Francis (AP)

Fra' Matthew Festing defended his actions in a letter to the order's membership

Pope Francis celebrates the baptism of 13 babies from earthquake zones in Italy in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Pope baptises babies born in Italian earthquake zone

The Pope celebrated the sacrament of baptism in a private ceremony in the chapel of his residence

Burma military at a flag-raising ceremony (PA)

Rights groups concerned by disappearances of Burma pastors

Two Baptist pastors who had shown journalists a Catholic church allegedly damaged by airstrikes were summoned to an army base

Fra’ Matthew Festing at the Order of Malta's traditional new year audience (Order of Malta)

Vatican rejects Order of Malta’s criticism of investigation

In a statement, the Holy See ‘reaffirmed its confidence’ in the commission appointed to investigate the order

Bishop John Arnold (Mazur/

More than 20 churches to close in Salford as diocese reveals restructuring plan

The proposals announced by Bishop John Arnold will also see the merger of around 100 parishes

Order of Malta leader Fra’ Matthew Festing talks to Pope Francis (AP)

Order of Malta leader: ‘Vatican investigators have conflict of interest’

Fra’ Matthew Festing defended his actions in a letter to the order’s membership

Archbishop Gallagher: 'The Holy Father calls everything by its name. He is not worried about the political fallout' (Mazur/

Morning Catholic must-reads: 17/01/17

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

Pope Francis greets a child in the crowd outside the church after celebrating Mass in the parish of St Mary (CNS)

Christian witness requires action, Pope says during parish visit

The Pontiff spent more than three hours at the parish of St Mary in the Setteville area of Rome

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra (CNS)

Cardinal Caffarra: the dubia matter because people’s salvation is at stake

The cardinal said that clarification was necessary because bishops were differing in their interpretations

Cardinal O'Malley at a Vatican press conference (CNS)

Boston’s archbishop joins Vatican office on clergy sex abuse

Pope Francis names Cardinal Sean O’Malley as the newest member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Pope Francis is pictured with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Giuseppe Lami, Reuters pool)

New embassy signals Pope’s love for Palestine, says President Abbas

The Palestinian embassy to the Holy See was inaugurated on Saturday

Members of the special police forces stand guard to secure the area around the Coptic Orthodox cathedral complex destroyed in December's bombing (CNS)

Egypt drops case against mob accused of attacking Christian woman

At the time of the attack, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called for the accused to be held accountable

A migrant ship stranded on 30 miles off the Libyan coast (PA)

Pope demands protection for migrants following latest deadly shipwreck

Italy’s coastguard said only four people survived the sinking of a migrant ship carrying 100 people off the Libyan coast

A woman prays the rosary  (CNS photo/John Taggart, EPA)

The Maltese bishops’ document will hurt Catholics – especially women

Catholic women deserve a more pastoral response than ‘sorry, but you’d better give him what he wants’

Dr Martin Luther King arriving at Heathrow Airport in 1961 (PA)

America can unite by following the example of Martin Luther King, not Donald Trump

The President-elect wants ‘to make America great again’, but his vision is limited

Nottingham's council house flies the LGBT flag for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) (PA)

Long read: What liberal intellectuals get wrong about transgenderism

Most people instinctively feel threatened by the postmodern redefinition of gender. Their instincts are correct

Liam Neeson as Ferreira in 'Silence' (CNS)

Silence shows that priests aren’t therapists – they’re here to help save our souls

Critics have reduced Silence to a missile in the culture wars. It’s so much more than that

Cardinal Gerhard Müller (CNS)

PODCAST: How to end the dubia drama


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Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing insists that the order remains loyal to the Pope (CNS)

The knights who won’t retreat

Vatican officials have mounted an extraordinary challenge to the ancient Order of Malta. But what is the row really about?

The government needs to overhaul its policies on abortion (PA)

Abortion policy is stuck in the dark ages

If abortion confers no health benefit, why is it within the purview of the NHS?

The indescribable wonder of a baby (PA)

We can rediscover the truth about love

An understanding of life, childbearing and sexuality is written on our hearts. Peer through the darkness and it can still be found

'The crisis in social care is the sign of a much wider crisis in society' (PA)

Church is the ideal place for the elderly to stave off loneliness

Far too many old people are placed in care homes, rather than being looked after by their families

Would you display your rosary on the bus? (CNS)

A lesson from St Josemaría Escrivá in a Texas diner

Little acts of public piety make me feel self-conscious. Am I just being English?

People in Krakow, Poland, take part in the Three Kings Day Parade  (CNS)

How I learned to love the beautiful customs of Epiphany

I’m ready to embrace the small and symbolic traditions that I once thought of as archaic