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Pope Francis (CNS)

The real Francis is not the kindly figure in white showing indulgence to all that the world imagines

A car drives past the residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst and the Catholic cathedral in Limburg (CNS)

Why the German Church is rich and arrogant

Billions of euros pour into the German hierarchy’s coffers every year thanks to the church tax. Hardly anyone goes to Mass, but it means the bishops can bully Rome

'The Archbishop of Canterbury is right to focus on the way so much food gets thrown away' (CNS)

We expect hunger in Africa, sadly, but that it happens in Britain too, one of the world’s richest countries, is shocking

A Kenyan Christian re-enacts the Way of the Cross (CNS)

Christians around the world will endanger their lives this Christmas to celebrate their faith

Edith Sitwell Below: Muriel Spark (PA)

A meeting of two literary converts

Muriel Spark found Catholicism practical and rational, while Edith Sitwell was receptive to the power of sacramental grace

A bust of Pope Pius IX at an exhibition in Florida (PA)

Those who ridicule the Syllabus have clearly never read it – it’s a handy guide to avoiding doctrinal blunders

A boy dressed as Santa Claus as Catholics pray at the Deir al-Laten church in Gaza (Photo: CNS)

Much-loved Fr Dennis Higgins has caused a storm over his apparent remarks to children. But why are we obsessed by the figure of a great fat man bearing presents?

Richard III - definitely legitimate

DNA tests have shown that there is a cuckoo in the nest

Children carry flowers in procession as they leave Christmas Eve Mass celebrated by Pope Francis  (CNS/Photo Paul Harring)

Francis Phillips reviews a selection of books that help children to understand the Faith

A man of Catholic tastes (AP)

The Society of Jesus had a huge influence on European drama at the time