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Pope Francis’ explosive new interview

Pope Francis says the church "cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently." (Riccardo De Luca/Associated Press)

In a lengthy, wide-ranging interview with journalists from his own Jesuit order, Pope Francis makes a number of stunningly frank comments that are likely to rattle the church and to cement his reputation as a leader more concerned with a pastoral approach than a doctrinal hard line.

As denominations decline, numbers of unpaid ministers rise

Mark Marmon (right) teaches fly fishing at the Fishers of Men retreat at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. Photo by Emily Krueger, Camp Allen | courtesy The Episcopal Diocese of Texas

The 50 members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Hitchcock, Texas, are looking forward to December, when Mark Marmon will be ordained their priest.

One reason for the excitement? They won’t have to pay him.

Religious leaders rip Kenya vote to withdraw from world court

Roman Catholic Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of the Kisumu Archdiocese and the chairperson of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission, said the withdrawal will breed impunity and injure human-rights protection. Photos by Fredrick Nzwili

With Kenya’s president and his deputy facing trials at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands, parliamentarians here have voted to withdraw the country from the court.

But the Roman Catholic Church and the National Council of Churches of Kenya view the move as “misguided.”

PBS series ‘Life of Muhammad’ explores diverse opinions of prophet

Rageh Omaar travels to the place of Muhammad's birth to retrace the footsteps of the prophet in PBS' "Life of Muhammad". Photo courtesy PBS

He’s born poor. By age 6, he’s an orphan. Two years later, he loses his grandfather. Yet he overcomes his circumstances, develops a reputation for business integrity and progressive views on marriage.

Then he becomes a prophet of God.

The portrait of the Muslim prophet, which emerges from a PBS documentary “Life of Muhammad,” may surprise some American viewers.

The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia

All photos by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky. Noah Friedman-Rudovsky also contributed reporting to this article.

For a while, the residents of Manitoba Colony thought demons were raping the town’s women. There was no other explanation. No way of explaining how a woman could wake up with blood and semen stains smeared across her sheets and no memory of the previous night. No way of explaining how another went to sleep clothed, only to wake up naked and covered by dirty fingerprints all over her body.

MDS volunteers tackle mud in High River

This is a typical scene Dyck encountered in the MDS clean-up. --MDS photo

Gerald Dyck talks with Darcie Janzen (MDS meal organizer for volunteers) in the MDS trailer.

Editor's Note:  The response to the flood disaster in High River, Alta, has been overwhelming.  Here Gerald and Lee Dyck, who spent a week there directing clean-up efforts, give a first-hand account of the their time there.  Dyck is the MDS director for British Columbia.

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