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The Pope, last Sunday CNS photo/Paul Haring

Gaudete Sunday has returned to the mainstream of Catholicism

Confessions are heard at World Youth Day in Madrid (Photo: CNS)

Why has the practice dropped off so dramatically here, but not in Italy, say, or Kenya?

A large Christmas tree CNS photo/Paul Haring

And why we should encourage children to make their own cribs

Candles decorated with images of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Photo: CNS photo/Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register

The conversion of Mexico was the single most successful mission undertaken by the Catholic Church. Why did it succeed when others failed?

St Ambrose, at St Peter's Basilica

We should celebrate St Ambrose, whose understated management skills kept the early church together – and who was the first person to read in silence

Is Belloc best forgotten?

The Catholic writer is nowadays neglected, but much of his writing is florid, dull and unreadable

Charlotte Church

His attitude to sacred music is symptomatic of the modern age’s attitude to religious art

Why do Catholics become Anglicans?

We must take a leaf out of the evangelicals’ book in trying to attract people back to Catholic churches

Definitely a Roman Catholic Mass  Photo: CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters

Foreign visitors may be attending High Anglican services under the impression that they are Roman Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI signs Africae Munus, the Apostolic Exhortation about the future of the Church in Africa

Muslims who oppose fundamentalism should recognise the Pope as an ally