Wed 17th Sep 2014 | Last updated: Wed 17th Sep 2014 at 17:30pm

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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

At last I can start to understand the American Civil War

A nun cares for a wounded soldier in a detail from a larger Civil War-era print (CNS photo/courtesy University Archives, The Catholic University of America)

In the history books, though, the conflict rages on

We ought to applaud ‘real-life superheroes’

The self-styled superhero Phoenix Jones (real name Benjamin Fodor) speaks to reporters (AP)

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith says that Catholic teaching offers support to the self-styled superheroes fighting crime from Yeovil to Seattle

Taking drugs should be legal but discouraged in the same way as smoking

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

Believe it or not, the new BBC series on the Crusades is excellent

Dr Thomas Asbridge presents the first episode of The Crusades

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

No one has the right to occupy the Vatican

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

Labour’s treatment of Catholics has doomed the Union

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

As long as murders go unpunished Africa will never have political reform

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

Father Prospero, possibly the most intelligent man alive, is to become Malta’s second ever cardinal

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

Were the three wise men from China?

The Magi, as traditionally viewed   CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec

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