Morning Catholic must-reads: 04/10/10

Pope Benedict XVI gives his blessing at the end of a youth meeting in Sicily (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Benedict XVI urged young Sicilians not to be lured by the Mafia during his visit to the island yesterday.

Bishops in the Philippines have said they may call for “civil disobedience” if the controversial Reproductive Health Bill becomes law.

L’Osservatore Romano has criticised Silvio Berlusconi for making a “deplorable” joke about Jews and using a blasphemous oath.

Geoffrey Robertson has refused to allow his debate with Alan Dershowitz over the Pope and child abuse to be aired by the nation’s public broadcaster, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Before the debate Alan Dershowitz explained why he believes that Benedict XVI has “done more to protect young children than any previous pope”.

The Vatican has confirmed that the Pope will visit San Marino in June next year.

Sister Irene McCormack, a missionary who was murdered in Peru in 1991, could one day become Australia’s second canonised saint, reports ABC News.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, outlines the themes of this week’s four-day Catholic media congress in Rome (audio).

Michael Sean Winters says Archbishop Augustine DiNoia offered a “tour de homiletic force” at yesterday’s “Red Mass” in Washington DC. CNN provides background.

George Neumayr wonders if atheism or Catholicism will triumph in the new “Battle of Britain”.

George Weigel says that even the Catholic media have overlooked John Paul II’s role in reforming the priesthood.

And Andrew Sullivan muses on a dog that says its morning prayers (video).