Morning Catholic must-reads: 14/03/11

Benedict XVI is pictured during yesterday's Angelus (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Benedict XVI prayed that “rescue workers be strengthened in their efforts to assist the courageous Japanese people” at the Angelus yesterday (full text, video).

The Pope began his week-long Lenten retreat at the Vatican yesterday, led by French Carmelite Fr François-Marie Léthel.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights is expected to rule this Friday on the Lautsi case concerning the public display of crucifixes.

Police in China have reportedly stopped the faithful from paying their last respects to an underground Church bishop.

More than 900 adults are preparing to become Catholics in the Archdiocese of Westminster, including 62 who will join the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

In the Archdiocese of Southwark nearly 600 adults are preparing to enter the Church, including 167 for the ordinariate.

In Hong Kong, 3,400 people will be baptised this Easter, significantly more than last year.

Pope Benedict will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination on June 29.

The Pope is likely to celebrate an outdoor Mass in the grounds of the Charlottenburg Palace during his visit to Berlin in September.

Fr Federico Lombardi says that in Jesus of Nazareth: Part Two Pope Benedict achieves a new “synthesis between the historical-critical culture and the faith in which the texts of the Gospels were born”.

Phil Lawler argues that SNAP is wrong to demand that Church leaders publish a full list of the priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Philip Jenkins claims that many Mexicans follow “a twisted caricature” of orthodox Catholic faith.

And Cardinal George Pell reminds the faithful that “Lent is more than a diet” in his Lenten message.