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Pope's Resignation Redefines Papacy, Spurs Talk Of 'Global South' Successor

A worldwide Catholic conversation that effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his plan to resign. Issues include celibacy, the role of women in the church, and the spectacular shift in Catholic population to Latin America, Africa and Asia.
NPR

Despite Young Leader, N. Korea Still Cranks Out Old-Style Propaganda

The latest bit of North Korea propaganda portrays a nuclear missile strike on the U.S. Such crude efforts seem to date from an earlier era.
WAMU 88.5

Cardinal Donald Wuerl To Help Choose New Pope

The Cardinal who guides Washington's Catholics learned that he will soon travel to Rome to help choose the next pope.

NPR

Women In Prayer Shawls Detained At Judaism's Holiest Site

Police detained 10 women for donning prayer shawls at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday. They are part of the group Women of the Wall who are fighting to worship in the same manner as men do at Judaism's holiest site.
NPR

Simultaneous Popes Could Disrupt Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI surprised Catholics around the world on Monday by announcing that he will resign on Feb. 28, after serving for just under eight years. It has been six centuries since a pope resigned. In a statement, Benedict said "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise" of his duties. Speculation is already swirling about who will succeed him.
NPR

Last Papal Resignation In 1415 Ended 'Western Schism'

In light of the Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, Melissa Block speaks with Father Thomas Worcester from the College of the Holy Cross about the rarity of papal resignations and the "Western Schism" that last caused a Pope to step down in 1415.
NPR

Pig Manure Reveals More Reason To Worry About Antibiotics

Manure from pig farms doesn't just contain residues of antibiotics used in livestock. It also carries high concentrations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a new study of Chinese pig farms finds. And researchers say "it's a global problem."
NPR

How To Pick A Pope (With Latin Subtitles)

Cardinals, conclaves, ballots and smoke. Understanding what comes next when the Vatican needs to name a new pope to lead the Catholic Church.
NPR

Violence In Syria's Capital Escalates, Along With Refugee Crisis

Fighting in Damascus has escalated, and the U.N. says 5,000 Syrian refugees are fleeing every day. The humanitarian crisis is growing along the borders with Turkey and Lebanon, and Israel launched its first airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday, reportedly targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah.

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