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Cardinal Pietro Parolin, seems to want closer relations with China (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

If the Vatican is to initiate closer relations with mainland China, in what way would this benefit country’s Catholic Church?

No one country is assigned a special mission from God  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It is unsustainable to believe that one nation has a special mission from God

A design of the mosque created in 2008 (AP Photo/KSP Engel und Zimmermann Architekten)

The mosque, if completed, will be bigger than its rival in Morocco – which may be part of the point

Pope Francis understands misrule from living in Argentina (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

We know that Francis is capable of plain speaking when he needs to be

A man carries a child after last week's airstrikes on Aleppo (Photo: Validated UGC via AP video)

The longer we put off dealing with failed states, the harder it becomes

'Labour MPs are saying things that ought to embarrass moderately sophisticated sixth formers' (Photo: PA)

Labour must have nothing to do with anti-Semites if it wants to be seen as a party of government

'The government wants to build thousands of new houses in the Green Belt' (PA)

I do not want to see the Green Belt turned into a concrete jungle, but restrictive planning laws and environmentally-friendly policies come at a price

Queen Elizabeth II at St Columba's Church in London (PA)

We should see her not as an anachronism, but as a reminder of the value of tradition

The bell tower of St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox church and the minaret of the adjacent Kateb Welaya mosque in Gaza City (AP)

Increasing numbers of Muslim refugees are seeking reception into the Church.