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Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Will Ukip get a foot in the door?

Nigel Farage’s ‘insurgent’ party is gaining a following among the faithful – much to the consternation of the bishops of England and Wales

Trappist Father Thomas Merton (CNS)

The Trappist who couldn’t be silenced

Thomas Merton was funny, daring and loquacious. That got him into trouble with the Church authorities, but it didn’t stop him becoming a great modern spiritual guide

Statues of saints overlook St Peter’s Square as the sun sets (CNS)

No, the Jesuits didn’t start World War I

We laugh at ludicrous anti-Catholic conspiracies. But we underestimate how many minds they poison, thanks to the latest developments in digital technology

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and David Cameron at last year's Holocaust Memorial Day (AP)

That Britain might not be safe for Jews is a truly disturbing thought

Pope Francis delivers his blessing during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI audience hall (PA)

Pope says it gave him ‘consolation and hope’ to see so many large families during papal visit to South Asia

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in Manila (CNS)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has reiterated Francis’s ‘spiritual and missionary message’

Pope Francis releases a dove in Madhu (PA)

Pope Francis was speaking at the the Church of Our Lady of Madhu in Sri Lanka

A detail from St Francis in Prayer by Caravaggio

St Francis was not above the magisterial teachings of the Church – and neither is the Pope

Michael Keaton at the Golden Globes (PA)

Birdman actor recalls mother praying the rosary and volunteering at hospital

Pope Francis appealed to officials to take care of their spiritual life (CNS)

In his annual end of year address to Vatican officials, Francis says he prays daily to the English martyr