The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the western world, and with more than one billion members worldwide, it is the largest Christian church. Its history spans almost 2,000 years and is rooted in the Church's Canon of Scripture and Tradition. At the head of the church is the Pope, who Catholics believe is the successor to Saint Peter whom Christ appointed as the first head of His church. The Pope, according to the religion's doctrine, can speak infallibly on matters of faith and morals. The Catholic Church practises closed communion and only baptised members of the church are permitted to receive the Eucharist, or Holy Communion.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Tight security as pope visits Lebanon
Pope Benedict visits Lebanon, the first papal visit to the Middle Eastern country, which has a large Catholic minority, since 1997. The pontiff's visit will take place amid tight security, and Benedict is expected to ask the world to stop supplying arms to its conflict-torn neighbour Syria. The 85-year-old pope has struggled to forge a good relationship with the Muslim community since he appeared to link Islam with violence in a controversial speech he made in 2006.
C.Y. heads for cross-border talks
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has a chance to get to know the neighbours when he attends the 15th plenary of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in Guangzhou. Leung is likely to have much to discuss with his counterparts from the mainland province, not least the delayed scheme to allow 4.1 million non-permanent residents of Shenzhen to apply for multi-entry permits to Hong Kong.
Exhibition focuses on Au's work
Work by a key figure from the third generation of the Lingnan school of painting goes on show at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. Au Ho-nien was born in Guangdong province in 1935 but moved to Hong Kong as a teenager and learned to paint in the city. His oeuvre covers all aspects of nature, and he is also noted for his poetry and calligraphy. The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow after a launch tonight.
Prison officers to be sentenced
Three prison officers convicted of inflicting serious bodily harm on a 33-year-old Taiwanese detainee who died the next day learn whether they will find themselves behind bars at a District Court hearing. Leung Shing-chi, 46, So Ka-wai, 36, and Tang Yuk-po, 46, left detainee Chen Chu-nan covered with 117 bruises and wounds. Deputy District Judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung warned the trio that jail would be considered.
US retail sales figures revealed
More clues as to the strength or weakness of the US economic recovery emerge as retail sales figures for last month are released. Economists expect a further increase of about 0.7 per cent after a 0.8 per cent increase in July, despite disappointing jobs figures. US inflation figures are also released, with the cost of living expected to show a 0.6 per cent increase, the biggest rise since 2009.
Hong Kong presence at Paris Biennale
One of the most prestigious displays of antiques, rare objects and artworks in the world opens in Paris, with a Hong Kong-based artist offering the first Asian involvement. The Paris Biennale des Antiquaires will feature work by fine jewellery designer and sculptor Wallace Chan. Organisers say their decision to invite Chan reflects a growing interest in art and antiques in China.