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In an earlier meeting Pope Francis greets Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the German bishops' conference former president (Photo: CNS)

Francis says he hopes Year of Mercy can revive Confession and a better understanding of the Eucharist

Bishop Egan (Photo: Mazur/

Bishop Egan made the suggestion in his pastoral letter

Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison

The new series of Homeland, opened with Carrie Mathison going to Mass

Synod fathers pray at the start of a morning session of the family synod (AP)

Letters from the Synod: October 7, 2015

Reports and commentary, from Rome and elsewhere, on the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

‘I was reminded of that streetlight scene from The Exorcist...’

The night I outran my demons

As a young doctor on a cancer ward, I consoled myself with drink and
New Age nonsense. Then one evening I stepped into a chamber of horrors

Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica (Photo: AP)

In a homily the Pope says priests who struggle to be merciful should avoid hearing Confessions

Pope Francis listens to a confession in St Peter's Basilica (PA)

What is immediately interesting about the Pope’s letter ahead of the Year of Mercy is the old-fashioned nature of his concerns

Pope Francis blesses faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St Peter's Square at the Vatican

The Pope made his appeal during his Angelus address on Sunday

A priest offers Holy Communion to an elderly man in Chile (Photo: CNS)

In admitting his guilt he would have faced the truth about himself – and encountered the truth about God too

Queuing for Confession: ‘What a great leveller it is to be alone-in-company’ (CNS)

Apologising to God

A former Anglican’s first Confession was an unfamiliar struggle between her honesty and her vanity – but, as she explains here, it brought her one step close to her Maker