Morning Catholic must-reads: 20/07/12

Protesters call for the release of Asia Bibi in Lahore in 2010 (CNS)

Church officials in Pakistan are worried that a growing international campaign may endanger the life of Asia Bibi.

The Syrian capital Damascus is like a scene from the apocalypse, Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar has said.

Lawyers for Mgr William Lynn, the first senior American Church official convicted of failing to prevent clerical abuse, have asked a judge not to send him to prison.

Fr Drew Christiansen SJ disagrees with Ross Douthat’s grim forecast of the future for liberal Christianity.

Phil Lawler suggests that an agreement between the Society of St Pius X and the Holy See is still likely despite yesterday’s statement from the SSPX general chapter.

Fr Bernardo Cervellera hails Chinese Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin as “a prophet and hero”.

Barbara Curtis salutes Jérôme Lejeune, the devout Catholic geneticist who defended the lives of children with Down’s syndrome.

And hundreds of clowns made their annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City this week.

For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen