Wed 30th Jul 2014 | Last updated: Wed 30th Jul 2014 at 15:38pm

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

Britain should follow Russia’s lead and urge its citizens to have more children

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (Photo: PA)

You don’t need to ask the experts for a solution to population decline. It stares one in the face: more babies

The Pope believes that dialogue with Islam is crucial

Copies of Light of the World in a bookshop in Rome (Photo: PA)

But “dialogue” does not mean we have to water down what we know to be the truth

Let’s move on from condoms. What the Pope said about the priesthood is more interesting

Priests attend Pope Benedict XVI's Mass celebrated outside the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

Despite the furore over condoms, Light of the World, the book-length interview with Pope Benedict, is about a whole lot more than sex.

Can there be dialogue with Islam without religious freedom?

Supporters of a Pakistani religious group rally in Lahore to condemn the release of a Christian woman Asia Bibi who had been sentenced to death. The banner reads " Death is a punishment for blasphemy in Shariah".

The case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy, raises the question whether there can be dialogue with Islam if there is no religious freedom

The NHS ‘safe sex’ video is tawdry and sad

A screenshot of the video, entitled Condom No Condom

Why isn’t abstinence suggested occasionally?

No wonder Downton Abbey is a success: it shows what English people were like before we were spoilt rotten

Captain von Trapp understood the importance of discipline

We long for a habit of politeness and respect that parents no longer instil in their children

Today I prayed the Rosary and held up a placard outside our NHS hospital

Pro-lifers pray outside an abortion centre in Pennsylvania (Photo: CNS)

I am not a natural for this kind of thing. I cringe inwardly when people shout at us, as they occasionally do. But I hope we make people think

Peter Hitchens defends marriage on the Today programme. Good for him

The Hindu god Krishna depicted with Radha and various court ladies

Pressure is mounting to change the status of civil partnerships to actual marriage

Lapsed Catholics, come back

Lapsed Catholics, come back

Sheila Cassidy’s new book ‘Confessions of a Lapsed Catholic’ points to a faith that has not matured

Why Sherlock Holmes played the violin

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, Rilke and Mozart help illuminate the unconscious on BBC Radio 4