When Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox arranged to meet with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican in 1988, a group of nuns thought he was wasting his time.
"I was chatting and having dinner with a number of Dominican sisters who were staying there for a 30-day retreat," Cox says. "They were incredulous that I wanted to bother seeing Ratzinger. 'Why do you want to do that?' they asked. 'Who pays any attention to him?' "
Flash forward a few decades, and nuns are more than paying attention.
Are religious people more moved by compassion than those who described themselves as less religious or non-religious?
A group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley set out to answer that question and what they found would surprise some: In three experiments, the social scientists found that the less religious were more generous when presented with situations that stimulated their compassion, which the scientists defined as "an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost."
This is the first in a series of stories on losing faith.
Teresa MacBain has a secret, one she's terrified to reveal.
"I'm currently an active pastor and I'm also an atheist," she says. "I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday's right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that's totally false."
Spain has Europe's highest unemployment rate, with nearly 1 in 4 people out of work. The country has dipped back into recession, and layoffs are on the rise.
But there's one organization there that's still hiring: the Catholic Church. A group of bishops has launched a savvy campaign on YouTube to recruit new priests from the swelling ranks of Spain's unemployed.
Joel Osteen is one of the most influential religious figures in the world.
He's a New York Times best-selling author. His television program reaches more than 10 million households in the U.S. and is seen in more than 100 nations across the globe. On Sunday night, he's hosting America's Night of Hope at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.