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A Syrian church left empty after a mortar attack. The faithful face their darkest Easter in many years (AP)

Maronite archbishop of Damascus tells faithful: we are abandoned to Providence

Fr van der Lugt

The murdered priest successfully highlighted the suffering of Syrians in a western media that has grown tired of the conflict

A boy pushes a pram past destroyed buildings in Homs (Photo: CNS)

News comes as thousands prepare to be evacuated during a pause in fighting

A Syrian man fixes a picture of Christ on the wall of his damaged house (CNS)

Predictions that after the end of the Cold War we would see a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West have been borne out by events

Francis in his rain-covered popemobile at this morning's audience (AP)

Today’s Catholic must-reads: 22/01/14

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

Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols (AP)

Cardinal-designate Nichols urges prayers ‘even [from] those who do not normally raise their hearts to God’

Patriarch Gregorios III

Leader of Catholics in Syria asks for prayers for conference beginning on Tuesday

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks down a street in Aleppo (AP)

Recommendations will be offered to those taking part in ‘Geneva 2′ peace talks

Pope Francis poses with the ambassadors to the Holy See (Photo: CNS)

Pope made the comment during his ‘state of the world’ address to the diplomatic corps

Pope Francis holds a baby's hand in the Sistine Chapel yesterday (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 13/01/14

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