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Imperiled Cleveland parishes still have a prayer

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This report from Religion News Serivce

CLEVELAND — At least five Catholic churches that had been ordered closed have received letters from Rome alerting them that the deadline for the evaluation of their appeals had been extended.

The news buoyed spirits among members of St. James in Lakewood, Ohio, and the Cleveland churches of St. Patrick, St. Emeric, St. Wendelin and St. Peter, five of the 10 parishes in the Cleveland diocese that are appealing orders from Bishop Richard Lennon to close.

Another lay mission story

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In Tom Robert's latest installment in his In Search of the Emerging Church series, he proclaimed that Laypeople are the future of mission work. (BTW Tom has another installment coming in the July 23 print issue.)

If anyone needs more proof than Tom Robert's word on that, here is more evidence: Abuse Victim Becomes Trained Advocate. It is an inspiring story of one (lay) woman making a big difference.

U of I president orders investigation

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Update: The president of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is asking a faculty committee to look at the the firing of adjunct professor who was accused of using "hate speech."

Kenneth Howell, who has taught theology at the U of I for nine years, told students in his "Introduction to Catholicism" course that the Catholic church teaches that "Sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same" and, he said that he believes what that the church teaches.

Howell has legal counsel and is seeking to be reinstated.

Meanwhile, a student publicaiont, Daily Ilini.com, has an editorial titled UI misses mark with professor firing that says:

"While we disagree with this viewpoint and fully support the LGBT community in its efforts for equality, firing Howell for teaching the facts was wrong, and an overreaction."

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:

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