Thu 24th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 24th Apr 2014 at 14:34pm

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Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest, doctor of moral theology and consulting editor of The Catholic Herald. On Twitter he is @ALucieSmith

The history of the Ottomans highlights the tension in Islam between religious and secular law

Rageh Omaar host the BBC series, The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors (PA)

BBC series explores how the Suleiman the Magnificent submitted Sharia law to his own will

We do not want a middle-class Church

Westminster Cathedral, built by and for the Irish poor of London (CNS)

The Catholic Church in England has lost its working-class base

The genius of Verdi was that he understood love

Verdi understood the love within families

The great Italian composer was the poet of father-daughter love

If Islamophobia has gone mainstream, as Mehdi Hasan claims, then what are the causes?

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba this week (AP)

The problem is not Muslims, but the theoretical underpinnings of Islam

Can the BBC handle the awkward truth about the Ottoman Empire?

People walk through the Sultan Ahmed Square in Istanbul (PA)

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was right to make a sharp break with Turkey’s imperial past

There is no ‘democratic revolution’ in the Vatican

The Independent seems to think the Holy See is just another dictatorship (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Talk of a ‘Vatican Spring’ misunderstands how the Church works

Pope Francis comes over as better informed than Italy’s leading intellectual

Pope Francis – photograph taken at Assis today (AP Photo/Stefano Rellandini, Pool)

The Pope’s conversation with Eugenio Scalfari continues to intrigue

Why is the Pope giving an interview to Italy’s most anti-clerical paper?

Pope Francis  (AP)

Catholic-secular divisions run deep in Italy, so the Holy Father’s interview with a leading atheist is curious

Do we really need to canonise our popes? Who counts more, St Francis, or the pope of the day?

Benedict XVI drives past a picture of John Paul II in St Peter's Square on the day of the late pope's beatification (CNS)

The Catholic Church ‘thinks in centuries’ and this phrase rests on the received wisdom that time needs to pass before we can make a judgement on someone

We believe in freedom but have no clear idea of what freedom is for

We all are children of Romanticism

Fidelio tells us a lot about how liberalism has triumphed over its romantic roots