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People pray during a religious education congress in LA (CNS)

A new book shows that merciful priests who don’t water down the truth are vital for the Church

Cardinal Keith O'Brien (PA)

The Church may be quite good at handing out punishments, but seems less good in letting some sinners know they are forgiven

St Pope John Paul II walks in the Dolomite mountains in 1996 (Photo: PA)

The idea of old age as the last stage in the journey to God is a source of great hope

Sisters in the congregation she founded were the first to visit prisoners in Dublin's Kilmainham jail

The Sister who gave up privilege to walk with the downtrodden can counter Irish prejudice against nuns today

A priest plays the tambourine at Mass (Photo: CNS)

Composers all over the world are hungry to write sacred music

The Grand Mufti prays at a mosque in Riyadh (Photo: PA)

Unless Western powers show they care about human rights they will be exposed as hypocrites

Lord Tebbit outside the Grand Hotel in Brighton (PA)

The great British survivor

In this Lenten season of forgiveness, Lord Tebbit reflects on the bomb that nearly killed him, bankers’ bonuses, bad sermons and the afterlife

Pope Francis (CNS)

Thanks to his unassuming personality and popularity, the Pontiff has a golden opportunity to change hearts and minds with a papal visit

Crowds at New York's St Patrick's Day parade (CNS)

How did St Patrick’s Day become such a successful ‘brand’?