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Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves after a meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill last year (PA)

Putin is pushing the Patriarch to the brink

The Patriarch of Moscow laid the intellectual groundwork for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. But now he is paying an exceedingly heavy price

Ukrainian government soldiers take a rest on the road between the towns of Dabeltseve and Artemivsk on Sunday (PA)

Bishops make plea for unity and independence for Ukraine

A woman lights candles for soldiers killed in Kiev's Independence Square last week (PA)

The Holy Father ‘joyfully awaits’ visit of Ukrainian bishops to Vatican next week

Pope Francis arrives for his General Audience this morning (PA)

Pope Francis also reflected on the importance of fathers during General Audience

Pope Francis leaves St Peter's Basilica after celebrating the Mass for religious (AP/Andrew Medichini)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 04/02/15

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

Ukrainians carry a coffin bearing the body of Olga Abdurashitiva, 27, who was killed  during Saturday's Mariupol attack

The Pope’s comments come after the reported killing of at least 30 people by rocket fire in Mariupol

Souvenirs marking the papal visit to Sri Lanka on display in a Catholic bookshop in Colombo (CNS)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 07/01/15

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

Pope Francis appears for his Urbi et Orbi blessing on Christmas Day (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pontiff prays for children ‘abused and exploited under our eyes’ in Urbi et Orbi message

Women gather at a chapel in a camp set up for Ukrainian refugees in August (CNS)

Warning comes 25 years after Catholicism was re-legalised in the country

Russian President Vladimir Putin (PA)

An attack on Lithuania might seem unlikely given that it s part of Nato, but Russia might risk it