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A man kneels in prayer in front of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston (AP)

No sanctuary from the slaughter

The massacre in Charleston garnered worldwide attention, yet the phenomenon of sacrilegious violence is global and growing

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Kosevo stadium in Sarajevo (CNS)

Francis’s great political journey

The Pope’s travels have so far been both pastoral and pious

A pilgrim holds a portrait of Archbishop Oscar Romero during beatification (CNS)

The Church has recognised a broad category of martyrs throughout the 20th century

Pope Francis (CNS)

The eco-encyclical won’t commit the Church to unsettled science

Cardinal George (Photo: CNS)

Always the smartest man in the room

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was one of the clearest thinkers and most direct speakers in the hierarchy of the US Church

Benedict XVI celebrates his 88th birthday with his brother Mgr Georg Ratzinger, right, and fellow Bavarians (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

Leading the doubters back home

Benedict XVI helped rescue the scriptures from becoming lifeless history

A banner depicting St John Paul II hanging from the facade of St Peter's Basilica (CNS)

A saint for beleaguered priests

A love for priests was a vital part of St John Paul II’s pontificate

A statue of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador (CNS)

A blessedly quick beatification

Romero’s case shows how deeply entrenched John Paul’s reforms to saint-making have become

Sir Martin Gilbert remained serene before the record of history

A friend who told us the truth

Sir Martin Gilbert was granted the greatest gift that a biographer could ask for, a subject truly heroic to write about

Pope Francis at the Vatican (CNS)

The Vatican balance sheet ought not to be a matter of global interest, for its fortune is relatively small