Pakistani pilgrims flock to crocodile shrine as Taliban threat recedes

October 15, 2015
(Caretaker Khalifa Sajad feeds crocodiles at the Sufi shrine of Hasan-al-Maroof Sultan Manghopir, better known as the Crocodile Shrine, on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan October 11, 2015. Pakistani Sheedi pilgrims are once again flocking to the shrine in Karachi that has been shunned for years amid fears of Taliban attacks. The community believes the crocodiles living in the shrine's pond are the disciples of saints. Picture taken October 11. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

(Caretaker Khalifa Sajad feeds crocodiles at the Sufi shrine of Hasan-al-Maroof Sultan Manghopir, better known as the Crocodile Shrine, on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan October 11, 2015. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Parishioners trespassing in long vigil at Massachusetts Catholic church: court

October 15, 2015
(Parishioner Maria Alves knits while keeping a vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Roman Catholic church in Scituate, Massachusetts July 22, 2015. Parishioners of the Massachusetts Roman Catholic church who have staged a decade-long vigil intended to stop the Boston archdiocese from closing it are due to argue their case in a state appeals court on Wednesday. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the last of a half-dozen Boston-area churches that parishioners have occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since 2004 when the archdiocese listed it among some 70 parishes to be closed in a restructuring. REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

(Parishioner Maria Alves knits while keeping a vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Roman Catholic church in Scituate, Massachusetts July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

In Northern Ireland, rugby spans the sectarian divide

October 15, 2015
(People watch the Rugby World Cup in Lavery's Bar in Belfast Northern Ireland, October 11, 2015. As Ireland fought their way into the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, Catholics and Protestants sat side by side in Laverys bar in Belfast to cheer on an-all island team that for decades has brought together communities. Even at the height of a conflict that until 1998 pitted Catholics favouring a unified Ireland against Protestants who wanted to remain British, players from both sides of the Irish border have represented the more than a century-old united team. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

(People watch the Rugby World Cup in Lavery’s Bar in Belfast Northern Ireland, October 11, 2015. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Behind Palestinian-Israeli attacks, angry youth and women … and al-Aqsa

October 13, 2015
(A female Palestinian protester drops stones to the ground during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah October 10, 2015. Eleven days of bloodshed in which four Israelis and 19 Palestinians have been killed in Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gaza and in Israeli cities have raised concerns about a new Palestinian uprising. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

(A female Palestinian protester brings stones to young men during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Special Report: Battling for India’s soul, state by state

October 13, 2015
(Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (wearing a garland), prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, walks inside the complex of a Hindu temple at Somnath in the western Indian state of Gujarat February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave)

(Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (wearing a garland) walks inside the complex of a Hindu temple at Somnath in the western Indian state of Gujarat February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave)

New Indian recruits to Hindu cause hear anti-Muslim message

October 13, 2015
(Volunteers of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) take part in a drill on the last day of their three-day workers' meeting in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave)

(Volunteers of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) take part in a drill on the last day of their three-day workers’ meeting in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad January 4, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave)

Leaked letter adds intrigue and confusion to Vatican bishops meeting

October 13, 2015
(Starlings fill the sky around the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican November 19, 2008. Dark clouds gather in Rome's evening sky. A funky smell fills the air and suddenly the rumble of rush hour traffic is pierced by a chilling screech. As commuters quit the city centre, tourists are left gawping as hundreds of thousands of night-time visitors arrive -- swarms of starlings which for decades have made Rome their winter home, creating a daily spectacle and a public health nightmare. Picture taken November 19, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

(Starlings fill the sky around the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican November 19, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Out of the cave and onto Facebook – the life of a modern hermit

October 12, 2015
(Sister Rachel Denton looks at the evening sky from the doorway of St Cuthbert's Hermitage in Lincolnshire, north east Britain September 25, 2015. Denton, a Catholic hermit, rises early to tend to her vegetable garden, feed her cats and pray. But the former Carmelite nun, who in 2006 pledged to live the rest of her life in solitude, has another chore - to update her Twitter account and check Facebook. "The myth you often face as a hermit is that you should have a beard and live in a cave. None of which is me," says the ex-teacher. For the modern-day hermit, she says social media is vital: "tweets are rare, but precious," she writes on her Twitter profile. The internet also allows Denton to shop online and communicate with friends. "I am a hermit but I am also human." A diagnosis of cancer earlier this year reaffirmed Denton's wish to carry on a life of solitude, prayer and contemplation. REUTERS/Neil Hall )

(Sister Rachel Denton looks at the evening sky from the doorway of St Cuthbert’s Hermitage in Lincolnshire, north east Britain September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall )

from The Great Debate:

Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbachev and forbidden sex

October 11, 2015

Pope Francis arrives to lead the opening mass for the synod of bishops on the family in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Pope Francis arrives to lead the opening mass for the synod of bishops on the family in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican October 4, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Family mourns Nigerian pilgrim who fled Boko Haram but died in Haj crush

October 9, 2015
(Mourners embrace each other as they pay their respects during a visit to the family of Bilikisu Yusuf, one of the victims of the stampede which occurred in Saudi Arabia's Mina, in Kaduna, Nigeria September 26, 2015. According to local media, Bilikisu was the former national leader of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria as well as a veteran journalist. At least 717 pilgrims from around the world were killed on Thursday in a crush outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi authorities said, in the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage for 25 years. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

(Mourners embrace as they pay their respects during a visit to the family of a victim of the stampede during the haj this year, in Kaduna, Nigeria September 26, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)