Sun 21st Sep 2014 | Last updated: Sat 20th Sep 2014 at 09:00am

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

My neighbour’s miserable Christmas

Hearing about her experience I made an instant resolution

The Pope’s Thought for the Day was simple and profound

But not, perhaps, controversial enough for John Humphrys

G K Chesterton, saint of the blogosphere

George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire Belloc and G K Chesterton at a London debate (Photo: PA)

He loved debate and controversy but at the same time managed to remain magnanimous to his enemy

Atheism has done little for women’s dignity

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens at the Munk debate last month (Photo courtesy of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation)

That’s the point Tony Blair should have made in his debate with Christopher Hitchens

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