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St Francis in Ecstasy by Caravaggio

How Franciscan is Pope Francis?

What perhaps we are not seeing from this Pope is the mystical and ecstatic characteristics of St Francis

Pope Paul VI offers a blessing to the faithful in Rome before flying to Istanbul in 1967 (Photo: CNS)

Despite severe challenges, the Church did not enter a steep decline the end of the pontiff’s reign

The Congregation for Divine Worship has suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity (CNS)

The liturgy does not belong to us but the Church

A mother and son survey the damage to their home in Gaza after an airstrike earlier this year (CNS)

Hamas clearly fails the St Alphonsus test. Civilian deaths are not just collateral damage – they are its chief weapon

A Iraqi protester carries a cross during a protest against the Islamic State (CNS)

France has offered asylum to the Iraqi Christians forced to flee from Mosul

The rather gloomy outlook of the Church meant that it was better equipped than most faiths to cope with the horrors of the First World War

Mariam Ibrahim of Sudan carries one of her children as she arrives with Lapo Pistelli, Italy's vice minister for foreign affairs, holding her other child. Also picture is Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, right, his wife Agnese, left (CNS)

Clearly the Italians have been at work behind the scenes to save Meriam Ibrahim

People grieve at the coffins of two Christian brothers killed in Mosul (CNS)

The long tradition of the presence of Christians in the Middle East is nearly at an end

A piece of the plane with the sign "Malaysian airlines" lies in the grass as a group of Ukrainian coal miners search the site of a passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine (PA)

Why were no representatives of the Church in the field praying for the dead?

The Resurrection by Lucas Cranach (1558)

The Church must remind us again about the certainty of death