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Morning Catholic must-reads: 24/02/16

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill is pictured in Rio de Janeiro (AP)

Patriarch Kirill has said that his meeting with Pope Francis was prepared in secret because “powerful forces” opposed it.

The Belgian Church has said it has paid almost €4 million ($4.4 million, £3.1 million) in compensation to abuse victims (French report, French full text).

Australia’s Catholic bishops have urged authorities not to allow a commercial surrogacy industry in the country.

Catholics in Singapore who have tickets for a Madonna concert on Sunday should “act according to their informed conscience”, the Church has said.

Tom Kington says Cardinal George Pell will give evidence to Australia’s royal commission “in the dead of night” in a Rome hotel on Sunday.

Mathew Schmalz asks if “a new Catholic political orthodoxy is emerging”.

And Bishop Robert Barron explains why he was “surprised and delighted” by the new film Risen.

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