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An Ethiopian church in Lake Tana: African culture has not always repressed women

A translation of ‘the first true biography of an African woman’ challenges lazy assumptions about the continent’s culture

Paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin examines a skull he found in China (AP)

How seriously should we take the French Jesuit as a Christian thinker?

A statue of ‘maverick’ Archbishop Mannix outside St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne

In this superb biography of Archbishop Daniel Mannix , Brenda Niall delivers an even-handed assessment of her subject

Books about the Holy Trinity don’t normally mention Heston Blumenthal (PA)

Books about the Trinity don’t usually mention Pinocchio or Heston Blumenthal – this one does…

A scene from Cristiada, a film about anti-Catholic persecution in Mexico

A chronicle of the period between 1910 and 1929 when so many Mexican Catholics endured banishment and persecution

A view of Downside Abbey  in Stratton-on-the- Fosse, Somerset

An warm account of significant figures with close links to the English Benedictine community

Pius XI in 1933: four years later he denounced Nazi tenets in an encyclical (AP)

A new book captures the dilemmas facing three popes who were confronted by Fascism and Communism in the 20th century

The RCIA in action: ‘Catholicism is not a label but an identity to be achieved’ (CNS)

A scholar investigates whether the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults really works

A bust of King Herod the Great, who almost went insane after his wife was executed

There’s much more to Herod than the Massacre of the Innocents

St Peter Freed by an Angel (1639) by Spanish Tenebrist painter Jusepe de Ribera

An American author makes an admirable attempt to shed light on a confusing period in papal history