Sun 26th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

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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 decline in Confession is the most vivid illustration of the Church’s fall

Confession: its decline mirrors that of the Church (CNS)

If Confession fades away, so does Holy Communion

Islamic State is seeking to bully the world

Iraqi Shiite Turkmens, mostly women and children, try to board an Iraqi Army helicopter aid flight bringing in supplies to Amirli, a town that has been completely surrounded by militants with the Islamic State group (PA)

In the land of IS, terror is once again the order of the day

Voyeurs looking at leaked celebrity photos are not simply sinful

Actor Jennifer Lawrence is among the victims of the celebrity photo leak (AP)

This may seem a minor matter, but it is not: it tells us a lot about our sick culture

I am part-Scottish and part-English, and I think we are better off sticking together

Scotland goes to the polls this month

We are a family, and like any family have our differences

Catholics must atone for their anti-Semitism

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis induction and predecessor Lord Sacks (PA)

Hatred of the Jews has never gone away, and we must do everything to resist its return

What the alcoholic St Monica teaches us about redemption

Monica and Augustine, as portrayed in the film 'Restless Heart' (CNS)

Like her son St Augustine, she overcame many difficulties to achieve sanctity

Why are so many priests alcoholics?

The downfall of many clerics  (PA)

Denying that there is a problem in the clergy has not helped us in the past

Fr Charles-Roux: He loved the Mass, he loved God. May he now enjoy the vision of God forever

Fr Charles-Roux

Now Fr Charles-Roux is in the presence of the reality that lies within the sacramental sign

How Franciscan is Pope Francis?

St Francis in Ecstasy by Caravaggio

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

Giving credit where it’s due to Pope Paul VI

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