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Smoking is widely seen as unhealthy and unglamorous (Photo: PA)

The war on drugs hasn’t worked. Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, has declined steadily since the Second World War

How Catholic was Puccini?

A new, Freudian study suggests the composer’s Catholicism was skin deep

Dr Thomas Asbridge presents the first episode of The Crusades

Presenter Thomas Asbridge confronts the brutality of the Crusades without lapsing into polemic

The police’s zero tolerance policy on demonstrations in St Peter’s Square is the only one possible

Protestors in Edinburgh call for a referendum Clerkson/Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images

The United Kingdom looks doomed, but much blame must be placed on Labour’s alienation of its natural constituency north of the border

A nun weeps at the spot where the body of Fr John Kaiser was found, a year after his death. Hundreds of people gathered for Mass in his honour.   CNS photo from Reuters

We must never forget Fr John Kaiser, the missionary who died in Kenya in mysterious circumstances

Fr Prosper Grech, of the Augustinian Order, was for many years a distinguished professor in Rome

The Magi, as traditionally viewed   CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec

Were the three wise men from China?

The Magi took two years to come from “the east”, far too long to be Babylonia or Persia, opening up the intriguing possibility that Christianity might not be alien to China

Apocalypto: terrifying, beautiful and macabre

Giles Fraser is wrong to say the film supports the Protestant heresy that sin must be paid for with pain

Pope Paul VI, with the future John Paul II  CNS Photos

The pope of my youth’s writing continues to resonate, with a faith as fresh as the day he penned them