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Pope Benedict says his schedule of meetings and trips 'really overtaxes an 83-year-old man' (Photo: CNS)

In a wide-ranging and candid interview the Pope describes crisis as ‘a tremendous cloud of filth which darkens everything’

Diocese of Middlesbrough must appeal directly to the Supreme Court or else settle what is thought to be the biggest abuse claim in English history

Interviewer Peter Seewald asks Benedict XVI if he considered resigning

Cardinal Seán Brady of Armagh greets well-wishers (Photo: CNS)

Study finds that 74 per cent of Catholic women in Ireland feel that the Church does not treat them with ‘a lot of respect’

Some respected campaigners even regarded it as a civil right

A pilgrim prays at the tomb of Blessed Mary MacKillop in Sydney (Photo: CNS)

Sisters of St Joseph, the order co-founded by Blessed Mary MacKillop, respond to claims made in controversial documentary

The claim, by Bavarian author Peter Seewald, is based on a series of interviews with the Pontiff earlier this year

High-level officials meet in Rome to prepare Apostolic Visitation

Blessed Mary MacKillop is pictured in an undated, colourised handout photo from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Photo: CNS)

Claim that Mary MacKillop was excommunicated for speaking out against an abusive priest is an invention, says Fr Gardiner

Procedures to deal with allegations of child abuse were tightened up in 2001 following a report by the late Lord Nolan, pictured (Photo: PA)

It is fatally easy to assume that priests accused of sex abuse are guilty until proven otherwise