Thu 28th Aug 2014 | Last updated: Thu 28th Aug 2014 at 16:44pm

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Books blog: The role of the Church made blindingly clear

Pope Francis hears confession during a penitential liturgy in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in March (CNS)

Author Patrick Madrid’s new book is eloquent on the importance of sacramental Confession

Giving credit where it’s due to Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI offers a blessing to the faithful in Rome before flying to Istanbul in 1967 (Photo: CNS)

Despite severe challenges, the Church did not enter a steep decline the end of the pontiff’s reign

Don’t worry about Cardinal Kasper’s flaky ideas on Holy Communion for the remarried: the Synod will come and go, and Pope Francis will still back Cardinal Müller

Cardinal Gerhard Muller pictured earlier this year (CNS)

He really does believe that we cannot, in his words, use Church doctrine ‘as we please’

We must guard and defend the Church’s precious liturgical heritage at all costs

The Congregation for Divine Worship has suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity (CNS)

The liturgy does not belong to us but the Church

Does the Church still adhere at all to the principle of a ‘just war’?

The Grenadier Guards are watched by a crowd as they leave Wellington Barracks in London for active service in France at the beginning of the Great War (CNS)

After a century of two world wars we know better that it is rarely the solution to human conflict

Hamas is using Gaza’s civilians as pawns in the war against Israel

A mother and son survey the damage to their home in Gaza after an airstrike (Photo: CNS)

Hamas clearly fails the St Alphonsus test. Civilian deaths are not just collateral damage – they are its chief weapon

Rest in peace, Stratford Caldecott

Stratford Caldecott: 26th November 1953 – 17th July 2014

Stratford’s Requiem Mass was a solemn and beautiful occasion

Nuance is one of the first casualties of war in Gaza

Palestinian children play outside a UN school that has been transformed into a shelter in Jabalia, Gaza (CNS)

There are few things less appealing than the tribalism which erupts whenever Israel goes to war

The fight to honour Ireland’s heroes of the First World War

Queen Elizabeth II and Irish president Mary McAleese after a wreath laying ceremony at the Irish War Memorial Garden, Islandbridge, in May 2011 (PA)

On at least 44 days more than 100 Irishmen were killed during the Great War, but they are only now being recognised

Morning Catholic must-reads: 31/07/14

Secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent the message to embassies (CNS)

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church