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Pope Francis leaves St Peter's Basilica after celebrating Mass on New Year's Day (CNS)

Pontiff marks the World Day of Peace at a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica

Children at Regina Mundi Catholic church in Soweto. The Church continues to grow in Africa (CNS)

Study reports that there were 1.23 billion faithful worldwide at the end of 2012

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal urges Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to intervene

Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI hall for a meeting with large families (AP)

Pontiff urges policy-makers to support larger families

A view of the seminary in Ciudad Altamirano, where Fr Lopez Gorostieta worked (AP)

Nine priests have been killed in Mexico in the past two years

An Iraqi Christian child who fled violence in Mosul (CNS)

Francis writes Christmas message of support to beleaguered Christians in the Middle East

Firemen walking past the bin lorry in George Square in Glasgow (PA)

Archbishop Tartaglia ‘heartbroken’ for all those caught up in crash in city centre

The synod fathers attending a session of the family synod (AP)

Reflections ‘will aid the process of true spiritual discernment that the Holy Father has asked the Church to engage in’

Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad (CNS)

Patriarch Sako dismisses fears over Pope Francis’s safety were a visit to take place

A Kurdish soldier gives the victory sign as he drives to the front line (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)

Mountain where Yazidis were stranded captured with US help