Morning Catholic must-reads: 02/09/13

Pope Francis waves to the faithful after the Angelus (AP)

Pope Francis has asked the world’s Catholics, “and all men of good will”, to observe a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria on Saturday September 7 (full text, full video).

Thousands of people have attended the beatification of Mgr Vladimir Ghika, who died in a Communist jail in Romania in 1954.

Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic bishops, has accused Barack Obama of failing to condemn violence against the country’s Christians.

Large crowds are expected to gather at a Catholic church in Dublin today for the funeral of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney.

John Allen, Rocco Palmo, John Thavis, David Willey and Fr John Zuhlsdorf react to the appointment of Archbishop Pietro Parolin as Vatican secretary of state.

Desmond O’Grady considers whether Francis can “cure the Curia“.

And a young American man has said that Benedict XVI helped him to overcome cancer.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day