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Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini with Pope Benedict in 2005 (AP)

The influential Italian Jesuit died today aged 85

A banner at a papal Mass in Benin (Photo: CNS)

On the other hand, an obituary of my chaplain in the 1960s recalls the encyclical’s very divided reception

Cardinal Levada, outgoing prefect of the CDF, looks over his correspondence (CNS)

Collaboration with the procurement if an abortion attracts automatic excommunication: has any excommunication been officially lifted? Is he in fact sorry he did it?

Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire/Press Association Images

What is sex for?

Anglicans (and Catholics) get themselves in a muddle over gay marriage because they’ve forgotten the meaning of sex

John Vianney: 'The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus' Photo: CNS photo/Crosiers

We easily forget those good priests whose reputations can be permanently tarnished by false accusations

The Duggar family on NBC News's Today show (Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via AP Images)

People are often too afraid or too selfish to have larger families

In 1968 Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae (PA Archive/Press Association Images)

That was in 1967, the year before Humanae Vitae. I wonder what Barbara Ward would think now

Pope Benedict with Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at a meeting earlier this year (Photo: CNS)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issues clarification about Benedict XVI’s remarks in Light of the World

Pope Benedict XVI is given a copy of Light of the World by its author Peter Seewald  (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

In interview with Peter Seewald the Pope strongly affirms 1968 encyclical that ruled against use of contraception

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’