A game of two popes: Vatican plays down talk of World Cup rivalry

July 11, 2014
(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after arriving at the Castel Gandolfo summer residence, south of Rome March 23, 2013. Pope Francis travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo for a private meeting with former Pope Benedict XVI. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

(Pope Francis (L) prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

Poland asks: should a doctor serve God, or patients?

By Reuters Staff
July 11, 2014
(Professor Bogdan Chazan smiles as he speaks to the media among his supporters in front of a maternity hospital in Warsaw June 13, 2014. In April this year, a pregnant woman asked Chazan, director of Warsaw's Holy Family Hospital, for an abortion because her own physician had diagnosed her unborn child with grave health problems. Chazan sent the woman a letter saying he could not agree to an abortion in his hospital because of a "conflict of conscience," and instead gave the woman the address of a hospice where, he said, the child could get palliative care once born. Picture taken on June 13, 2014. To match story POLAND-ABORTION/ REUTERS/Jacek Marczewskii/Agencja Gazeta)

(Professor Bogdan Chazan smiles as he speaks to the media among his supporters in front of a maternity hospital in Warsaw June 13, 2014.REUTERS/Jacek Marczewskii/Agencja Gazeta)

Iraqi Christians’ flee violence and fear end of long history

July 11, 2014
(Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako (L), the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, gives communion to Iraqi Christians during Mass at John Baptist De La Salle Church in Amman May 23, 2014. Cardinal Sako led a Mass attended by hundreds of Iraqi Christians who are in Jordan ahead of a visit by Pope Francis on Saturday.REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed )

(Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako (L), the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, gives communion to Iraqi Christians during Mass at John Baptist De La Salle Church in Amman May 23, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed )

Pope Francis shows mega-banks how to do it

By Reuters Staff
July 11, 2014
(Jean-Baptise de Franssu (L), new president of Vatican Bank IOR, outgoing President Ernst Von Freyberg (R) and Cardinal George Pell leave at the end of a news conference at the Vatican July 9, 2014. The Vatican said on Wednesday it will separate its bank's investment business from its Church payments work to try to clean up after years of scandal including allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. French businessman Franssu was named as the new head of the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), succeeding German lawyer Freyberg, who has run the bank since February 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile )

(Jean-Baptise de Franssu (L), new president of Vatican Bank IOR, outgoing President Ernst Von Freyberg (R) and Cardinal George Pell leave at the end of a news conference at the Vatican July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile )

from The Great Debate:

What’s the 2014 election really about? Religious vs. women’s rights

By Bill Schneider
July 10, 2014

Demonstrators gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court for the "Not My Boss's Business" rally for women's health and rights in Washington

Religious rights versus women's rights. That's about as fundamental a clash as you can get in U.S. politics. It's now at the core of the 2014 election campaign, with both parties girding for battle.

Islamic State appeals to only four percent of Syrians: poll

By Reuters Staff
July 9, 2014
(A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. There had previously been reports on social media that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would make his first public appearance since his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) changed its name to the Islamic State and declared him caliph. The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday's date, was credible. It was also not possible to immediately confirm the authenticity of the recording or the date when it was made. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV)

(A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV)

Vatican bank clean-up and account closures wipe out 2013 profit

July 8, 2014
An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. A preliminary inquiry by the Vatican bank after the arrest of a Vatican prelate on suspicion of trying to smuggle huge sums of money into Italy from Switzerland found "clear failings" at the institution, a source close to the bank said on July 4, 2013. The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), held a meeting on Thursday that also addressed the shock resignation of its two top managers on Monday. The meeting had not been made public. Picture taken in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

(The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), or Vatican bank, is located in the round tower at the right in this view of Vatican City in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer)

Indonesian presidential hopeful prays quick Mecca trip will win votes

By Reuters Staff
July 7, 2014
(Indonesian presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo runs on the stage after delivering a speech in front of his supporters at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta July 5, 2014. The closest and dirtiest presidential race in Indonesia's young democracy could be decided on Wednesday among the mosques and rice paddies of West Java, the nation's most populous province. Former special forces chief Prabowo Subianto and Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo are running neck-and-neck in opinion polls, leaving markets in Southeast Asia's largest economy under pressure and on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome. Picture taken July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside )

(Indonesian presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo runs on the stage after delivering a speech in front of his supporters at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside )

UK imams urge British Muslims to shun Syria and Iraq

By Reuters Staff
July 4, 2014
(Men attend Friday prayers at the central mosque in Birmingham, central England February 2, 2007. REUTERS/Rui Vieira)

(An imam addresses men attending Friday prayers at the central mosque in Birmingham, central England February 2, 2007. REUTERS/Rui Vieira)

Muslims in China’s Xinjiang told to ignore Ramadan customs

By Reuters Staff
July 4, 2014
(An Imam calls on Muslim Uighurs for their afternoon prayer with a home-made iron loudspeaker on the roof of the Kuqa Mosque, the second biggest mosque in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, August 20, 2012. Picture taken August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer )

(An Imam calls  Muslim Uighurs to prayer with a home-made iron loudspeaker on the roof of the Kuqa Mosque, the second biggest mosque in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer )