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Barack Obama at the White House (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

US president will visit the Vatican on March 27 as part of a European tour

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga pictured in Rome last March (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 21/01/14

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

Rabbi Skorka (Photo: PA)

The rabbi told reporters that Francis would be able to resist the pressure of different factions

Pope Francis: 'Our witness must concentrate on the centre of our faith.'

Pope Francis calls for focus on essentials of Christianity during audience with Lutherans

Archbishop Bassetti says he couldn't believe that the Pope named him a cardinal  (CNS)

Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti was told by a parishioner that he was to be made a cardinal

Pope Francis (CNS)

Engaged couples can attend a special audience with Pope Francis on February 14

Pope Francis announced the extraordinary synod in October last year  (CNS)

New members include Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin

Archbishop Bernard Moras quoted Pope Francis In his opening address to the conference (CNS)

The Indian Christian Women’s Movement established after talks on the impact of the Second Vatican Council

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience today (CNS)

250 years ago Japanese Christians ‘survived with the grace of baptism,’ Pontiff tells general audience

Pope Francis (CNS)

The Pontiff’s comments in his ‘state of the world’ address gave socialists and humanists a chance to engage with his criticism of our throwaway culture