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Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Pope John Paul II shake hands in 2001 (PA)

Mr Arafat was moved to tears by Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ

Pope Francis burns incense in front of a statue of Mary (CNS)

Muslims and Christians are like-minded when it comes to revering Mary

These days nuns are a rare sight in schools (AP)

The white veils and white gloves on feast days are now a distant memory

Mideast Saudi Arabia Hajj

Last night’s documentary on the birth of Islam illustrates how powerful religion made Arabic culture

Rageh Omaar pictured in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The Koran is believed to be the immutable word of God, and so, unlike the Bible, cannot be seen historically

A man looks at the Papal Cross in Phoenix Park, Dublin (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 07/10/10

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre (Photo: AP)

Protests about how much we respect Islam do not seem to do much good

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, at a press conference in March (Photo: CNS)

Plans to publicly burn copies of the Koran are ‘outrageous and grave’, says Vatican council