Pope Francis plays long game to reform Roman Catholic Church

October 22, 2014
(A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle as he leaves at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

(A gust of wind blows Pope Francis’ mantle as he leaves at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican October 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

Science meets voodoo in a New Orleans festival of water

By Reuters Staff
October 20, 2014
(Four voodoo altars)

(Four voodoo altars in Sallie Glassman’s voodoo temple in New Orleans, 30 October 2009/Charlotte))

Catholic Church should not fear change, Pope Francis says at synod close

October 20, 2014
(Pope Francis greets cardinals at the end of a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter's square at the Vatican October 19, 2014. Former pope Paul VI who led the Roman Catholic Church during one of its most turbulent modern periods and enshrined its opposition to contraception, will be beatified by Pope Francis at the Vatican. Beatification is the last step before sainthood. The late pope's move towards canonization was made possible when the Vatican recognised a miracle concerning a pregnant woman in California whose child was at risk of dying. After praying to Paul VI, the child survived. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Pope Francis greets cardinals at the end of a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican October 19, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

Guestview: Opus Dei pulls few strings in Spanish business

By Guest Contributor
October 17, 2014
(Catholics attend the beatification ceremony of Opus Dei Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in Madrid September 27, 2014. Thousands of Opus Dei followers from around the world attended the open air beatification mass of the former Opus Dei leader. REUTERS/Susana Vera)

(Catholics attend the beatification ceremony of Opus Dei Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in Madrid September 27, 2014. Thousands of Opus Dei followers from around the world attended the open air beatification mass of the former Opus Dei leader. REUTERS/Susana Vera)

Pakistani Christian loses appeal against death sentence for blasphemy

By Reuters Staff
October 17, 2014
(Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, sits next to Governor of the Punjab Province Salman Taseer as he talks to media after visiting her inside the central jail in Sheikhupura, located in Pakistan's Punjab Province November 20, 2010. Bibi, 36, who was handed down the death sentence by a court in Nankana district in central Punjab earlier this month, appealed President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday to pardon her, saying she was wrongly implicated in the case. REUTERS/Asad Karim)

(Asia Bibi sits next to Punjab Province Governor Salman Taseer as he talks to media after visiting her inside the jail in Sheikhupura, Punjab Province November 20, 2010. Taseer was assassinated two months later by his own security guard  for defending her. REUTERS/Asad Karim)

Day of the Dead comes alive in colorful Mexican tale ‘Book of Life’

By Reuters Staff
October 17, 2014
(A costumed character from the film "Book of Life" walks the red carpet in Los Angeles, California October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)

(A costumed character from the film “Book of Life” walks the red carpet in Los Angeles, California October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)

California atheist jailed over objections to faith-based recovery gets $2 million settlement

By Reuters Staff
October 17, 2014
()

(U.S. Court of Appeals building in San Francisco, 4 May 2008/Sanfranman59)

A California atheist convicted of drug possession who was found in violation of his parole and sent back to prison after he objected to a treatment program centered on belief in a higher power has won a nearly $2 million legal settlement, his attorney said on Wednesday.

Vatican to limit Sistine Chapel visitors to protect fragile frescoes

October 17, 2014
(DATE IMPORTED:November 21, 2009Pope Benedict XVI leads a special meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican November 21, 2009. Pope Benedict meets up to 500 artists from around the world, as part of efforts to turn the page on the Vatican's sometimes conflicted relationship with the contemporary art world. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

(The Sistine Chapel, as former Pope Benedict XVI met with artists on November 21, 2009. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

Vatican waters down gay references in English translation of divisive text

October 17, 2014
(Bishops and cardinals attend a synod of bishops lead by Pope Francis in Paul VI's hall at the Vatican October 6, 2014. Pope Francis on Monday opened the Roman Catholic assembly that will discuss marriage, gay couples, birth control and other moral issues, telling his bishops to speak frankly and not be afraid of upsetting him. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

(Bishops and cardinals attend a synod of bishops at the Vatican October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

from The Great Debate:

Joining Islamic State is about ‘sex and aggression,’ not religion

By Arie W. Kruglanski
October 16, 2014

Militant Islamist fighter waving a flag, cheers as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province

It is easy to look to religion for an explanation of why young men -- and some women -- become radicalized. But it is psychology, not theology, that offers the best tools for understanding radicalization -- and how best to undo it.