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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Morning Catholic must-reads

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The Sunday Telegraph’s report on the Foreign Office memo suggesting the Pope should open an abortion clinic during his visit to Britain has prompted comment from James Macintyre, Damian Thompson, Harry Mount, Melanie McDonagh, Catherine Pepinster, George Pitcher, Tim Collard, Fr Dwight Longenecker, Gerald Warner, Ruth Gledhill, Mary Beard, Cranmer, William Crawley, Tony Brenton, Giles Pinnock, Joanna Bogle, Fr Timothy Finigan and Fr John Hunwicke SSC.

The Independent reports that Pope Benedict will make “the first general apology” for clerical abuse when he meets thousands of priests from around the world at the end of the Year for Priests.

The Pope has praised the Meter Association, the group founded by Fr Fortunato Di Noto to combat paedophilia.

Benedict XVI will create a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, to be led by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, reports John Allen.

The internet has led to increased conformity and “the decline of critical spirit”, Pope Benedict has said (video).

Iraqi Christians have defied threats to erect a statue of Jesus modelled on the giant Christ the Redeemer in Rio.

An Italian group has accused Mgr Charles Scicluna of mishandling the case of an alleged clerical abuser.

A retired priest has said he warned Church authorities that Belgium’s longest-serving bishop was an abuser years before he resigned.

Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, responds to criticism of the paper’s coverage of the Pope and the abuse crisis.

Christopher Hitchens provides an update on his campaign to arrest the Pope.

Historian Anthony Grafton says Pope Benedict is awaiting the St “Francis or the Angela Merici of our time“.

Joseph Bottum reflects on “the permanent scandal of the Vatican“.

Mark Lawson says the Pope and Catholicism “have become the evil force of choice” for novelists.

A new documentary traces the last days of Oscar Romero.

Marco Tossati discusses his controversial book-length interview with the exorcist Fr Gabriele Amorth.

And a Colombian cleric has won an international prize for the best “priestly anecdote” with the story of how he heard the Devil’s confession.

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