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The weekend’s big story was the Vatican’s response to the unprecedented police raid on the Belgian Church. Pope Benedict XVI described the police’s methods as “deplorable” and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said they were “unbelievable”. A lawyer for the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese said the Church was considering legal action. But Belgian anti-paedophilia campaigner Fr Rik Devillè insisted the raids were “a good thing”. Rod Dreher says the Pope was wrong to speak out. And Fr Tim Finigan considers the state of the Belgian Church.

Archbishop Angelo Amato beatified the Maronite monk Estephan Nehmeh in Lebanon yesterday.

Pope Benedict urged the faithful to “contemplate the divine-human heart of the Lord Jesus” at his Angelus address yesterday (full text).

Cardinal Walter Kasper has confirmed his imminent retirement as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Ann Widdecombe will be the next British ambassador to the Holy See, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

The Pope has turned down an offer to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day programme, the Telegraph suggests.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN in Geneva, has addressed the Human Rights Council on maternal mortality (full text).

Rocco Palmo says the Vatican’s year is ending on a diplomatic high note.

Valle Adurni wonders what will happen to church buildings if Anglicans accept the Pope’s offer.

John Coleman SJ hails an “almost perfect” film.

And James Preece predicts that the Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman in a red telephone box.

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Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict XVI said true conversion prevents us becoming “slaves of evil or at least prisoners of moral mediocrity” at his general audience yesterday (video). He received ashes at St Sabina, in accordance with tradition (video).

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has a simple message for Lent: “Get back to confession.”

Fr Tom Rosica, head of Salt + Light Television, Canada’s national Catholic television station, has uploaded a series of Lenten meditations to YouTube.

More than one million people have already reserved a place to see the Turin Shroud when it goes on display for the first time in a decade in April.

Pope Benedict XVI must not overlook the suffering of those abused in the care of Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland, an abuse victim there has said.

Paul Inwood, Director of Music and Liturgy of Portsmouth diocese, says the impact of the new English translation of the Mass “is not as upsetting as one might have thought” (scroll down to comments). Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tucker is disturbed by Mr Inwood’s suggestion that he attended a demonstration Mass with the new texts with music.

The BBC hopes that the Pope will appear on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day during his visit to Britain.

No more than 200 people attended the protest against Pope Benedict in London last Sunday, says Fr Tim Finigan.

A father in Chicago could be jailed after taking his three-year-old daughter to a Catholic church.

Andrew Sullivan is appalled by EWTN’s decision to broadcast an interview with a leading apologist for torture (warning: graphic images).

Rob Vischer asks what Catholic legal theory has to say to the Tea Party movement.

And No Hidden Magenta says the Church and controversial ethicist Peter Singer have a surprising thing in common.

Heads up

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I understand that Archbishop-elect Bernard Longley of Birmingham is likely to be on Radio 4’s Sunday programme tomorrow morning.

Update: You can listen to it here (starting at 37.08).

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 3, 2009 at 10:30 am