Pope poses for 'selfies' after Palm Sunday homily

Pope Francis, marking Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter's Square, ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he continued to stray from the script by hopping off his popemobile to pose for "selfies" with young people and also sipping tea passed to him from the crowd.

Pope assumes responsibility for priest sex abuse

Pope Francis said Friday he took personal responsibility for the "evil" of priests who raped and molested children, asking forgiveness from victims and saying the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect the young. It was the first time a pope has taken personal responsibility for the sex crimes of his priests and begged forgiveness.

Is support for Israel waning among evangelicals?

American evangelicals have played a significant role in U.S. support for Israel; by some measures they are even more supportive than American Jews. But David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel, says evangelicals have shifted within the last decade and are no longer considered automatic supporters of Israel.

Mormon leader outlines opposition to gay marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' stance on homosexuality has softened in recent years, but this marks the second consecutive general conference in which Mormon leaders took time to emphasize the faith's insistence that marriage should be limited to unions between a man and a woman, as God created.

African clergy join fight to save elephants and rhinos from poaching

The escalating slaughter of elephants and rhinos is drawing the anger of conservationist clerics, who have begun enlisting church members in the battle to save Africa’s wildlife. The clerics are driven by a view that these animals are God’s gifts to nature and a critical part of Africa’s heritage.

Religious tolerance still rare in Saudi Arabia

Citing paragraphs that disparage Christians and Jews as apes or swine and teach that execution is an Islamic response to gay sex, some wanted President Barack Obama to demand on a recent visit that Saudi Arabia remove religious bigotry from its textbooks. But Obama’s two hours March 28 with King Abdullah did not cover human rights issues, officials said.

Church of the Resurrection in Leawood looks for $60 million, finds $63.2 million

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has surpassed its goal of raising $60 million in pledges to fund a new Leawood sanctuary and other improvements totaling $90 million, church officials said this week. “No other Methodist church has raised that much in a campaign like this,” the Rev. Adam Hamilton told worshippers on Sunday, capping a three-year capital drive.

‘Noah’ movie spurs debate pitting art vs. Bible

With the release of the movie “Noah” a week away, the waters of controversy are rising fast. Some will undoubtedly chastise director Darren Aronofsky for the ways in which the movie riffs on the biblical account of Noah. Others will praise him for his creative vision.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments in religious rights case

Combining fundamental questions of religious rights, corporate rights, Obamacare and abortion, the Hobby Lobby case is, for many people, the most important the Supreme Court will decide this year. Kansas City-based construction company J.E. Dunn has filed an amicus curiae in the case, siding with Hobby Lobby.