Morning Catholic must-reads: 23/02/12

Benedict XVI receives the ashes at Santa Sabina in Rome yesterday (AP)

Benedict XVI described ashes as “an invitation to repentance” in his homily at Mass in the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome yesterday (full text, video).

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan has designated a pilgrimage site in Nagasaki where 26 martyrs were killed as a national sanctuary.

Pope Benedict greeted members of the Personal Ordinariate of Walsingham, led by Mgr Keith Newton, at his general audience yesterday (video).

Sociologist Peter Berger observes that the controversy over the Obama administration’s contraception mandate has deepened the relationship between Catholics and Evangelicals.

Christopher Manion argues that the Catholic Church is entering “the age of the laity”.

And the Catholic News Agency explains what happened when two Cardinal O’Briens bumped into each other in Rome.