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A potentially landmark merger deal in Catholic higher education has entered the final phase of negotiations.

The first Catholic free school in Britain is to cut its link with the Church.

The German bishops’ conference has summarised and commented on the replies of German Catholics to the 46 questions of the second Vatican questionnaire on the family, in an 18-page report published on 20 April.

The number of women in England and Wales entering religious life has risen to its highest level in 25 years while the number of men entering the priestly formation has dropped.

A conference in Rome last week explored how women might play a decisive role in conflict resolution, while Cardinal Peter Turkson told participants that the next secretary of the pontifical council that he heads could be a woman.

Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States.

The Vatican has called for the establishment of a global agency to fight human trafficking.

Government inspectors have said a Catholic primary school is not teaching its pupils enough about democracy, the workings of the law and the “different forms” that adult relationships and families can take.

African migrants who have fled to Europe say Christians in Libya are being forced by Islamist gunmen to deny their faith or face death threats.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s personal secretary said he believes reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, which has become a key theme of Pope Francis’ papacy, is not necessary.

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