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Bishop Farrell heads the new dicastery (CNS)

The Pope reaches out to America

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The appointment of Bishop Farrell suggests the Pope wants the Church in the US to move away from confrontation and towards dialogue

Cardinal Sarah celebrates Mass ad orientem: ‘There is no reason to oppose the return to a beautiful practice’ (Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew, OP)

We can have it both ways

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Cardinal Sarah’s advice to priests to celebrate Mass facing east, rather than towards the congregation, has caused uproar in Rome. Yet a simple compromise is available

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, center, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, right, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, speak on a roof overlooking the Kremlin in Moscow (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)

Is Orthodoxy unravelling?

After 50 years of preparation, the Pan-Orthodox Council has fallen apart at the last minute. Many are blaming Moscow, but that is far too simplistic

The daunting length of Amoris Laetitia undermines its simple and direct style (CNS)
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The Pontiff has chosen to promote debate and diversity, rather than build unity around clearly expressed doctrine. The consequences will be enormous

The document will ignite further debate (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Those who wanted the issue settled so they can get on with life peacefully are likely to be disappointed

Cardinal Robert Sarah: serene and fearless (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The unstoppable rise of Cardinal Sarah

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The cardinal from a remote African village has become a standard bearer for Catholic orthodoxy in a Church where many things now seem uncertain

Pope Francis and the Patriarch Kirill sign a joint declaration on religious unity at Jose Marti aiport in Havana (AP)

The Russian patriarch, not Pope Francis, has the most reason to be satisfied after the Havana meeting and joint statement

Patriarch Kirill will be trying to push Constantinople further into the shade (Photo: AP)

Francis is walking into a Russian minefield

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The meeting between the Pope and Patriarch Kirill is unprecedented, but the Russian Orthodox leader will come armed with his own political agenda

Pope Francis exchanging gifts with the Archbishop of Canterbury  in 2013 (AP)
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The chance of a fixed date being agreed for Easter is close to zero

'The Communion question carries an onerous and 
momentous responsibility' (Photo: AP)

The Pope’s agonising dilemma

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This year Francis must make one of the hardest choices any pope has faced for decades. Whatever he decides, there is likely to be great upheaval in the Church