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True All Stars

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Don't get me wrong: I know how vital baseball is--even if the annual mid-summer All-Star game doesn't really count. But I hope some of you watching tonight noticed the 30 non-athletes who were honored before the game: everyday heroes who do more than swing a bat or catch a ball.

Among the so-called "People All-Stars Among Us" was a good friend of our family, Marci Schankweiler. Marci became a widow at a very young age, when her 30-year-old husband, Peter Bossow, died of testicular cancer. He was one of my husband's best friends. (Watch the video from tonight with Julia Roberts introducing here).

Legionaries of Christ to hold extraordinary chapter

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The television news agency Rome Reports says that Pope Benedict has told the Legionaries of Christ that they must hold an extraordinary chapter to adopt new constitutions. The message is contained in a letter give to Archbishop Velasio de Paolis, the Vatican financial chief whom Benedict appointed the pontifical delegate of the Legionaries last week.

German church wins 'Locked Oyster' prize

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German church wins prize for bad information policy on clergy sex abuse

By Catholic News Service

HAMBURG, Germany (CNS) -- The German Catholic Church is the recipient of this year's Locked Oyster, an annual award by an association of journalists to mark the most notable example of blockage of information.

Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German bishops' conference, accepted the award in Hamburg July 10 at the annual conference of the organization Network Research.

Women cardinals

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Brendan McGrath, in a comment (#41)on the America Magazine blog, "In All Things," has a novel idea. McGrath suggests that women be allowed to become cardinals (not exactly a new idea, but wait). McGrath observes that since this has nothing to do with doctrine, only church discipline, it would only require a change in canon law, entirely possible.

McGrath then goes on:

Few abuser priests monitiored

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This report from The Associated Press was released last week, but you may have missed it: Dioceses oust abusers they had pledged to monitor

At the peak of the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis, the discipline plan American bishops adopted prompted dioceses to remove nearly all accused clergy from the priesthood.

Some of the men, however, were considered too old or sick to be kicked out. Instead, bishops barred those clerics from functioning as priests and promised to keep watch over them in supervisory programs that would keep the men far from children.

But interviews with canon lawyers, church child protection officials and experts who advise them found that, eight years after the plan was approved, few of those diocesan programs exist. Church leaders are more likely to oust a cleric from the priesthood than monitor him.

God to meet His Voice?

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What does God sound like?

Anyone who grew up in the New York metropolitan area between the mid-1950s through the early parts of this decade knows the answer: Bob Sheppard. The long-time New York Yankees public address announcer, 99, died at his Long Island home July 11.

No matter how bad or good the Yankees were during the 1970s, the kids playing ball at Edgemere Park in Long Island, particularly the Met fans, knew our American League rivals had us beat at one position every home game. Sheppard, a university-level speech professor by profession, announced games at the old Yankee Stadium for more than 50 years (1951-2006).

It was his vocal manner, both regal and accessible, and his tone, sonorous yet sophisticated, that set him apart, that led those kids playing baseball or softball on long summer days to imitate him. “Batting sixth, number 24, Joe Feuerherd,” I would slowly and clearly intone, as if it was Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth approaching the batter’s box.

“Number 24.”

European interest in Chicanos/Latinos

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I have recently returned from Ireland and Spain where I attended conferences on Chicano literature. There is growing interest in both countries and, in fact, throughout Europe about the Chicano/Latino experience and, in general, about the minority experience in the United States.

As more Third World migrants enter Europe and European countries struggle to cope with the changing demographics, scholars are looking to see how the United States has managed its own population diversification, where since 1970 the large majority of immigrants have come from non-European sources and primarily from Mexico, Central America and Asia. About 50 percent of all immigrants to the United States are from Latin America.

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September 12-25, 2014

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