Morning Catholic must-reads: 18/03/11

Cardinal Kurt Koch (AP Photo/Keystone, Peter Schneider, File)

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia have met to discuss the “defence of traditional Christian values in Europe“.

President Barack Obama will visit the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero at the metropolitan cathedral in San Salvador on March 23.

A British Foreign Office memo has raised hopes of a papal visit to Northern Ireland.

Mgr Anthony Figueiredo of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum reflects on the disaster in Japan.

Fr Peter Milward SJ describes what it was like to be caught up in the earthquake in Tokyo.

Michele Chabin is disturbed by rising violence against Christians in Egypt.

John Allen says that the new Courtyard of the Gentiles initiative “promises boost to Catholic pride”.

George Wiegel celebrates Italy’s 150th birthday.

Valle Adurni says that the Bishops of England and Wales have decided there will be no further liturgical changes for six years after the new Mass translation is introduced.

And Fr James Schall SJ applauds the Pope’s recent reflections on the dangers and opportunities of the digital world.