Morning Catholic must-reads: 20/09/12

Patriarch Bechara Rai, left, at the papal Mass in Beirut on Sunday

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai has backed calls for an international law against the “defamation of religion” in the wake of the controversy over the film Innocence of Muslims.

Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, has denounced a spate of “senseless” attacks on Christian buildings in Israel.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia of Singapore has withdrawn a letter calling for the abolition of the country’s Internal Security Act because it could be used “in a manner that I did not intend”.

Experts have cast doubt on the authenticity of a newly discovered papyrus fragment that purports to show that Jesus was married.

Nicholas Cafardi suggests that Cardinal Carlo Martini’s final interview was inspired by his dismay at the Church’s response to the murder of six Jesuits in El Salvador in 1989.

Phil Lawler welcomes “a terrific appointment” at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Kevin Clarke is less enthusiastic.

And Brennan Pursell says that St Hildegard of Bingen, who will be declared a Doctor of the Church on October 7, is being used online to “hawk herbal elixirs, potions, creams, powders, rocks, and ointments“.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day