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Morning Catholic must-reads: 16/02/16

Patriarch Kirill visits a Russian Orthodox church in the Cuban capital Havana (AP)

Patriarch Kirill has said that he discussed how to avert “a large-scale war” between America and Russia with Pope Francis last Friday.

Attacks on churches increased by 20 per cent last year, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said.

The Coptic Orthodox Church has marked the first anniversary of the beheading of 21 Christians by ISIS in Libya.

Experts have finished the first phase of a restoration project at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The president of America’s second-oldest Catholic university has rejected the faculty’s appeal for his resignation.

Paul Vallely argues that Francis’s “failure to act effectively on sex abuse may seriously mar his otherwise radical papacy”.

And George Weigel says the BBC has thrown St John Paul II’s “secret” letters to a married woman “into the Freudian Mixmaster”.

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