Adjusting to everyday life after fleeing a polygamist sect
Zach Bowers, 18, and his brother Isaiah Bowers, 17, grew up in Colorado City, Arizona, a colony of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While raised in the polygamist community, the two were told little of the outside world, taught that women should be subservient to men and lorded over by their elders to the point at which all of their clothes were regularly chosen for them. But they decided enough was enough, and fled their home.
For a sense of how isolated their lives were:
“I didn’t even know what the president was,” Zach says of his time on the fundamentalist compound. “I knew there was somebody over the United States, but I didn’t know they called it the president.”
But their adjustment from the colony to suburban life hasn’t been without some pitfalls. Read the full story in our latest Column One feature.
Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
The incredible devotion of Douglas Kanai
What would you do to open your own temple? Ask a religious leader for permission? Go it on your own? How about enduring a 100 day trial to prove your fortitude and devotion to your faith?
Buddhist Douglas Kanai, seen above, is the first American to pass the 700-year old, and sometimes lethal, Nichiren test, and now has his own temple in Las Vegas.
His days began at 2:30 a.m., ended at 11:45 p.m. and consisted largely of kneeling and chanting for hours upon hours, with just rice gruel keeping him going.
From Kathie Quinn, who drove to L.A. to watch him recreate the ceremony:
“Only he knows the torture he endured, but it seems worse than any military boot camp. From what I understand, you need that kind of trauma to see what he saw — the good and the bad of his soul.”
Photo: John M. Glionna / Los Angeles Times
Holi festival celebrations in India
The Indian festival of colors, Holi, is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of March, marking the ceremonial beginning of spring and commemorating events in traditional Hindu stories.
Photos: Rajesh Kumar Singh, Altaf Qadri / Associated Press
Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel
Amid the accolades for the “eternal” relationship between the U.S. and Israel, the tours of the Iron Dome defense system and the planting of a tree at the house of Israeli President Shimon Peres, both Palestinians and Israelis continue their protests against Obama’s trip.
Photos: Abed Al Hashlmoun / EPA, Bernat Armangue, Mohammed Ballas Associated Press Mahmud Hams / AFP/Getty Images
From high-school equivalency to undercover spy
Fernando Jara changed the course of his life with a single email. Post-9/11, he told the CIA that perhaps he, with a recent conversion to Islam and knowledge of Arabic, could get closer to extremists that they could.
And now, years later, he’s changed his life again - working to aid drug addicts and felons in California.
From humble beginnings, Jara founded a program to rehabilitate drug addicts and felons on a five-acre farm. He is completing a master’s degree at Claremont School of Theology and will soon begin work on a doctorate and a law degree…
It’s an impressive resume for a junior high school dropout — with one exception. Five years are unaccounted for, and few people here know why.
In 2001, Jara disappeared from public view. He went on a journey that took him across the Middle East into the undercover world of Islamic extremism.
Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
While we’re on the subject of popes, here’s our front page from October 17, 1978. Pope John Paul II had been elected the previous day.
1978 was a Year of Three Popes; John Paul II’s predecessor, John Paul I, was pope for only 33 days.
Here’s more front-page coverage of past popes, going back to the election of Pius X in 1903.
Meet your new pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis I
Bergolio will become the 266th pope, and lead the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics across the world. Most notably, Bergolio, from Argentina, will become the first pope from South America, and the first modern pope from outside of Europe. Bergolio, age 76, became a cardinal in 2001, will leave his post as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Photos: Juan Mabromata, Giuseppe Cacace / AFP/Getty Images, Natacha Pisarenko, Andrew Medichini, Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press, Ciro Fusco / EPA, Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images,
White smoke, new pope!
The Vatican has signaled that a decision has been made on a new pope, following deliberations by the Vatican conclave. The new pope will follow the now-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who announced his surprise resignation earlier this year.
Photos: Gregorio Borgia, Andrew Medichini / Associated Press, Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images
With this plume of black smoke emerging from the Sistine Chapel, it’s official - there will be no new Pope today. Voting will resume tomorrow, as the church works to replace Pope Emeritus Benedict.
To be named the church’s 266th pontiff, a candidate will have to win the support of at least two-thirds of the cardinals, meaning 77 votes. With a larger field of papabili, or potential popes, than in the most recent conclaves, the first vote was not widely expected to yield a decision.
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Conclave ceremony begins at the Vatican
The process to select a new pope officially began this morning, as 115 Roman Catholic cardinals celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, and upon finishing the service, are to stride into the Sistine Chapel to begin deliberations.
The decision could take a day, a week or even longer - there’s no deadline to picking the next pope. But once a candidate gains the support of two-thirds of the vote, white smoke will be seen above the chapel, signalling that Pope Emeritus Benedict’s successor has been chosen.
Photos: Franco Origlia / Getty Images, Osservatore Romano / AFP/Getty Images, Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press
The pope has left the building
Outgoing Pope Benedict XVI has departed the Vatican and will spend the final hours of his papacy at a summer retreat, soon leaving the Catholic church without a figurehead while the church tries to sort out who his successor will be.
Pope Benedict will now be known as the “Pope Emeritus,” becoming the first living ex-post in hundreds of years.
From the scene in Italy:
The courtyard at the Vatican was lined with clapping well-wishers, church officials and the plume-hatted Swiss Guards, the pope’s protectors, as Benedict left the papal apartment for the last time. On the Vatican’s helipad, he raised his arms in farewell, still wearing his white papal vestments, and the chopper lifted off into blue skies. The bells of St. Peter’s Basilica pealed during the departure.
Photos: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP/Getty Images, Guido Montani / EPA, Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press
The new “Pope Emeritus”
What do you call a pope who’s no longer a pope? Following Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden announcement that he would be resigning from the papacy, the Vatican was faced with a decision: What title should be assigned to the outgoing pope?
Pope Benedict XVIwill bear the title “pope emeritus” or “Roman pontiff emeritus.”
The outgoing pope will also continue to be addressed as “His Holiness” and will keep the name Benedict XVI rather than return to being called Joseph Ratzinger.
He will still be robed in white, a simple cassock with no adornments.
It certainly works better than The Artist Formerly Known as Pope. Read more on the Vatican’s decision here.
Photos of the day: Valentine’s Day festivities, elaborate Hindu ceremonies and a prayer at an Israeli settlement - just some of today’s best photos, courtesy of the Framework Blog.
Photos via Lee / EPA, Jason Fochtman / Conroe Courier, Janos Chiala / AFP, Rajesh Kumar Singh / Associated Press
Too many popes: Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden announcement this week that he would be stepping down from the papacy, the first pope to do so in hundreds of years, puts the Vatican in a bizarre quandary:
One day soon, perhaps on a fine morning this spring, a new pope strolling through the Vatican’s beautifully tended gardens may run into something that few, if any, of his predecessors ever encountered: another pope.