Morning Catholic must-reads: 03/03/14

Francis called for peace in Ukraine at the Angelus yesterday (AP)

We should begin Lent “with a spirit of worship of God and fraternal solidarity” with those “tested by violent conflict”, Pope Francis said at the Angelus yesterday (full video).

The Pope is no longer considering closing the Vatican bank, Cardinal George Pell has suggested.

Francis has reportedly confirmed that both a Muslim and a Jewish leader will accompany him to the Holy Land in May.

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Catholic school in Montana to reinstate a pregnant, unmarried teacher.

John Langan SJ says Francis is “prodding us to think about what the stance of the Church toward homosexuality should be”.

Blogger Sensible Bond predicts that the outcome of October’s family synod will be “slightly fudged”.

And Cardinal Seán O’Malley observes a small but significant gesture Francis made at the end of the consistory of cardinals.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.