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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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Texts, speeches, homilies
One of the concrete actions Pope Francis has taken in his first year leading the Catholic Church has been to call a synod devoted to the subject of marriage and family life – and to ask lay people for their views.
The results of the Vatican questionnaire on marriage and the family show many Catholics acting at odds with church teaching, according to an analysis commissioned and approved by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Pope Francis has written to families ahead of October’s Synod on the challenges they face, asking for their “crucial” support in prayer.
Last autumn the Vatican ordered an unprecedented survey of Catholic views on issues around marriage and family life – such as contraception and same-sex marriage – in advance of October’s Extraordinary Synod on the family.
On the eve of Vincent Nichols receiving the red hat from Pope Francis, his predecessor in Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, prayed for him, celebrated Mass, and in a homily said that as last year had been the "Year of the Two Popes", this year is the "Year of the Two Cardinals".
Six years after the financial crash that led to the global recession, inequality has only deepened and a vision for a new financial regime has yet to be discovered. So said Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace, at a lecture at the London School of Economics.
On 5 February the United Nations issued an unprecedented and hard-hitting report into the Holy See’s record on dealing with the sexual abuse of minors by priests.
Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2014, released on 4 February, takes as its theme a verse from St Paul's second letter to the Corinthians: "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich". In it he warns Catholics they must give until hurts if they truly wish to be Christ-like.
The bishops of Sudan and South Sudan, who continue to operate as a single bishops’ conference since secession by the South in 2011, said the two-and-a-half-year-old nation is caught in “a time of crisis, perhaps one of the gravest situations we have ever faced”. Read their statement here
In his message for World Communications Day, which this year falls on 1 June, Pope Francis praises social media for bringing people closer together.