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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

Children raise their hands in front of a mural of St. Josephine Bakhita, an African slave who died in 1947, at St. Bakhita Catholic Church in a displaced persons camp in Jeberona, Sudan (CNS)

In many parts of the world, slavery is still common

Survivors and their supporters sit next to photographs of the Bhopal gas disaster during a protest in New Delhi on the anniversary of the tragedy  (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

‘The bodies lay on top of one another’

Mark Greaves talks to the Irish Sister who tended to the victims of the Bhopal disaster 30 years ago – at great cost to her own well-being

Pope Francis delivers a speech at the European Parliament (PA)

The European Union is withering because it has uprooted itself, he says: unless it returns to God, its institutions are finished

Children in  a nativity play in a Catholic school (AP)

The end of the Christmas play would be a great shame