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Cardinal George Pell is under pressure to appear in person at a hearing of Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in his home town, Ballarat.

Ireland has gone further than paganism and “defied God” by legalising gay marriage, one of the Church’s most senior cardinals has said.

The Vatican’s media must “up its game” for the digital age and move towards a more streamlined and joined-up operation, former BBC head Lord Patten said on Wednesday – but he hinted there are likely to be problems ahead on the road to reform

Cardinal Vincent Nichols was installed on Wednesday afternoon as chancellor of St Mary’s University, London, in an elaborate ceremony in Westminster Cathedral in which he said the institution would have roots that no secular institution could provide.

Cardinal Raymond Burke preached yesterday against a “dictatorship of relativism” which brands Christians“fundamentalists and extremists”.

Even a “broken” marriage remains a source of grace for those who are involved in it, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said at a special Mass celebrating the sacrament of matrimony which was attended by more than 500 couples marking milestone anniversaries in 2015.

Some 106 people have been charged in conjunction with the murder of a Christian couple burnt alive in a brick kiln in eastern Pakistan last Novembe

Pope Francis said he wants to be remembered as “a good person who tried to do good. I cannot ask for anything more than that.”

The largest lay group in Germany has been branded by the country’s bishops as being “over-hasty” after it called for reforms to church teaching.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s new Health Minister is a Catholic who has gone on record to say the abortion rate is too high in Britain and that “something needs to be done about that”.

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