Wed 16th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Wed 16th Apr 2014 at 16:36pm

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

Nigel Farage says he wants to keep our Christian heritage. What does he mean in practice?

Nigel Farage (PA)

UK politicians who support Christian values could learn a lot from straight-talking Timo Soini

Be reassured: we are not being asked to decide Church teaching in an opinion poll

Cardinal Peter Erdo, the relator for next year's synod (Photo: CNS)

Cardinal Peter Erdo, a leading canon lawyer, says the Synod will be based on Church teaching, not public opinion

The harsh side of the Church on show in Philomena is not the full story

Dame Judi Dench with Philomena Lee (PA)

The work done by Frank Duff highlights the fact that, although forced adoptions were widespread in Ireland, there were those who did much to help single mothers

Catholics should not be afraid of having a personal relationship with Jesus

Catholics pray before the Eucharist (CNS)

Thousands of religious are leaving their communities each year. One cause is ‘an absence of spiritual life’. This is a tragedy

Must Catholics be poor?

Pope Francis greets a child during his visit to a slum in Rio in August (CNS)

There should not be one standard for the clergy and another for us lay people

My convent school has changed remarkably in just 50 years

These days nuns are a rare sight in schools (AP)

The white veils and white gloves on feast days are now a distant memory

The debate about beheadings exposes a double standard when it comes to abortion

Facebook has removed a clip of a women being beheaded after concluding that it 'improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence' (Photo: PA)

Viewing video clips of a decapitation on social media trivialises the violence. At the same time, there are sometimes appalling images that the public should see

The secular media caricatures the Pope’s words, but the Holy Father must beware unwittingly fuelling media spin

Pope Francis speaks to the media aboard the papal flight from Rio de Janeiro

Does Francis’s attempts to reach out to lapsed Catholics risk sapping the motivation of those who sacrifice much in the name of faith?

David Cameron has so much to learn from Hungary’s true conservatives

David Cameron with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at Number 10 (PA)

Hungary is governed according to the kind of conservatism that has vanished from British politics

How we deal with deteriorating health is a matter of faith

Hans Küng pictured in his office in Tübingen (CNS)

Professor Hans Kung has written he is ‘considering suicide.’ If he goes through with it, it would be a final step in a life full of small steps away from the Church