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News 6 Week in review A guide to the past seven days 8 Home news 12 World news 16 News focus Inside France’s unexpected Catholic revolution

Comment & features 19 Melanie McDonagh Blessed are the poor – so where does that leave me? 20 Fr Mark Drew The unanswered questions that are straining Church unity 22 Bess Twiston Davies Our report from Kurdistan on how Christians are surviving 23 Clara Watson An embryo is a human being, and worthy of our love 24 Cora Sherlock Pro-lifers in Ireland are finding reasons to be cheerful 25 Mgr John Armitage Can the wolf live with the lamb in our troubled times? 26 Philip Booth Don’t leave the battle for religious freedom to populists 28 Mary Kenny Why my French cousins are excited by François Fillon

The man French Catholics are propelling to power p16

Rosa Monckton: from Tiffany & Co to the world of charity p44

Mgr Armitage: how to escape loneliness in Advent p25

Back pages 29 Letters & emails The annulments lottery; Trump is unfit to govern 31 Arts Peter Mullen analyses TS Eliot’s powerful and ‘deeply Christian’ Little Gidding 34 Books The best of 2016 Our critics choose their books of the year 39 Spiritual life Pastor Iuventus says it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee 40 Catholic Life 42 Bishops’ engagements 43 Crossword 44 Charterhouse Damian Thompson loses at ping pong in Brighton 47 The Last Word Perhaps, given the infinity of God, the world will never end, says Fr Ronald Rolheiser Cover: Christian Adams

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