Morning Catholic must-reads: 17/04/12

Pope Benedict watches a Bavarian dance on his 85th birthday (AP)

Benedict XVI said that his birth on Holy Saturday offers the key to understanding his life as he celebrated his 85th birthday at the Vatican yesterday (video).

The Chinese authorities freed two bishops belonging to the underground Church on Easter Sunday, reports

YouCat, the Church’s official youth catechism, has become the best-selling Catholic book in the world.

A seventh-century Gospel placed in the coffin of St Cuthbert will go on display in Durham, northern England, next year (view digitised pages).

Cardinal Kurt Koch, Archbishop Patrick Kelly and Marco Tosatti reflect on Benedict XVI’s papacy on his 85th birthday.

Christopher Shannon pays tribute to César Chávez, “the last Catholic in America” to pursue “an authentic Catholic politics in a pluralist society”.

George Weigel argues that the American bishops are rejecting an “anorexic notion of religious freedom”.

The BBC’s Daniel Nasaw hails the “warrior priest” Fr Emil Kapaun.

And the readers of St Peter’s List recommend 25 other Catholic blogs.