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Morning Catholic must-reads: 02/05/18

Pope Francis prays during the 2015 Lenten retreat in Ariccia (CNS)

Pope Francis prayed the rosary for peace in Syria at a Marian shrine outside Rome yesterday.

Malawi’s bishops have issued a pastoral letter calling for “serious soul searching” by their country’s leaders.

Bishop Felix Genn has said he hopes that tomorrow’s meeting between German bishops and the Pope can create “a consensus” on intercommunion (John Allen).

Sam Kean explains how artificial intelligence is helping to decode the Vatican Secret Archives.

Paul Baumann reviews Ross Douthat’s encounter with “fervent apostle for the sexual revolution” Bill Maher.

Fr Anthony Ruff says “it’s possible that Pope Francis doesn’t believe in hell” – but suspects he does.

And David Clayton reflects on nudity in Christian art.

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