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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Fr Tim Finigan asks whether Catholic state education in Britain has entered its “endgame”. Damian Thompson, John Smeaton, Mulier Fortis, St Mary Magdalen, and Sunday Morning Soapbox also reflect on the latest developments in the battle over sex education.

Forward in Faith UK is supporting a Day of Prayer today, the feast of the Chair of St Peter, in response to Anglicanorum Coetibus. Thinking Anglicans rounds up the latest developments. And Christian Campbell says that, despite claims to the contrary, groups of Anglicans around the world are preparing to respond to the Pope’s offer.

Two of the Vatican’s most senior officials have raised the issue of reducing the number of dioceses in Ireland.

Pope Benedict XVI began his traditional Lenten retreat on Sunday evening (audio). Shortly before, he gave the Angelus address in which he compared Lent to “a long retreat” (video).

Pope Benedict has confirmed that he will visit a Lutheran church in Rome next month.

The Pope has not yet received a letter from members of the Pontifical Academy for Life criticising their president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

The Guardian suggests that the Pope has condemned intrusive body scanners at airports.

No Hidden Magenta wonders if Europe is heading for its own Roe vs Wade.

Australian and Quebec will gain their first saints on October 17 (video).

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago will speak at Brigham Young University tomorrow on the topic “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defence of Religious Freedom”.

A Marian statue damaged during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki will meet its counterpart in Guernica as part of a “peace pilgrimage” marking the 65th anniversary of the bombing.

America magazine examines the trends in the latest Annuario Pontificio and Rocco Palmo notes that the Catholic Church in America is still growing.

Robbers have shot dead a priest in Mexico.

The BBC reports that a monastery near Vienna is offering men the chance to “be a monk for a weekend“.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, asks whether John Paul II was “crazy or holy“.

Zenit meets the Polish twin brothers who both felt called to the priesthood in the Salesian order.

And Da Mihi Animas marvels at the skills of the skateboarding friar (video).

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