Morning Catholic must-reads: 16/04/14

Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica on February 22 (CNS)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will celebrate his 87th birthday at the Vatican today (video).

Catholics should heed the Pope’s advice and say “no to pessimism”, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston said at yesterday’s Chrism Mass (full text, full video).

Pope Francis has “touched and moved” all Christians, US President Barack Obama has said at a White House prayer breakfast (video and transcript).

Peter Jesserer Smith reflects on “the martyr’s death” of Dutch Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt.

George Weigel says Flannery O’Connor’s collected letters would provide promising material for her beatification Cause.

A new website that “allows single Catholic women to imagine what it’s like to be a nun” has launched.

And two Greek Orthodox bishops have accused Pope Francis of heresy in “a harsh 89-page letter” (full text).

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.


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