February 27, 2013 A huge crowd gathered Wednesday for Pope Benedict XVI's final general audience before his resignation takes effect on Thursday. In his remarks, the pope indirectly acknowledged that his nearly 8 years as head of the Roman Catholic Church have not always been easy.
February 26, 2013 Outgoing Benedict XVI will be referred to as "His Holiness" and carry the title of "pope emeritus," the Vatican says.
February 26, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI leaves office this week, the second pope to resign voluntarily. The first was Celestine V, a hermit who quit in 1294, after a brief and disastrous stint. Some scholars say Dante damned Celestine as a coward in his Inferno. Yet his example, legally and spiritually, played a major role in Benedict's departure.
February 25, 2013 The church's cardinals can start the process of choosing a new pope right after Benedict's resignation takes effect later this week — rather than wait the 15 days that rules had required. One cardinal, Keith O'Brien of Britain, has stepped down after being accused of inappropriate behavior.
February 24, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI leaves the church in the midst of change: American Catholics' social views tend to diverge from the Vatican's, and the church now sees much of its support in South America and Africa. One former member of the College of Cardinals says the next pope will have to be aware of the church's needs in South America.
February 24, 2013 Some 100,000 people packed St. Peter's Square to hear the pope's last blessing. They interrupted him several times with applause and cheers. Benedict has one more scheduled public event: a general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday.
February 22, 2013 The Jets quarterback reversed a decision to attend the opening of a new facility for the First Baptist Church in Dallas, whose pastor has disparaged other religions and homosexuals.
February 21, 2013 India's Kumbh Mela festival is considered the largest religious gathering in the world, and it can be completely disorienting for an outsider. An NPR reporter found an expert guide.
February 21, 2013 Between 2002 and 2009, homegrown Indonesian militants staged deadly attacks almost yearly. The story of one former terrorist-turned-chef — and his unrealized dreams of global jihad — help illustrate why terrorism hasn't flourished in the Muslim-majority country.
February 17, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI asked those gathered in St. Peter's Square to continue praying for him and the next pope. He steps down as pope Feb. 28.