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Don't look back

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"Don't look back." Gen 19:17

Baseball legend Satchel Paige probably didn't know he was quoting scripture when he offered this famous tip for staying young: "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you." But he lived the truth of it by outrunning and outliving the long shadow of racism in American sports. Regarded by Joe Dimaggio as the best and fastest pitcher he had ever faced, Paige was welcomed into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

In today's Lectionary reading from Genesis, Lot's wife failed to follow Paige's advice and was turned into a pillar of salt. Avoiding salt might have been another of Paige's tips for staying young, as anyone on blood pressure medication knows. He did warn people off red meat, which, he said, "angrys up the blood."

'Digging in our heels' against Obama won't work, New Orleans archbishop says

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Rome

Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who will formally be installed as the new shepherd of New Orleans on August 20, has long been considered a rising star within the U.S. bishops’ conference, and a leader of what might loosely be called its “moderate” wing.

Aymond was in Rome this week to receive the pallium, a band of woolen cloth symbolizing the duties of his office and his bond with the pope. On Tuesday, he sat down at the North American College for an interview. Highlights include his reflections on lessons learned from the sexual abuse crisis, including a strong defense of the “zero tolerance” policy but some ambivalence about disclosure of sensitive documents, and his non-confrontational approach to the Obama administration.

The full text of the interview is here Interview with Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans

Obama hasn't chosen a church

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Contrary to reports yesterday, this is on the Religion News Service wire:

White House denies report that Obama won't pick D.C. church

WASHINGTON (RNS) -- The White House on Monday (June 29) denied a report that President Obama has decided to make the Camp David presidential retreat his church home.

"The President and First Family continue to look for a church home," a White House spokesman said Monday. "They have enjoyed worshipping at Camp David and several other congregations over the months, and will choose a church at the time that is best for their family."

Time magazine reported Monday that White House aides had said Obama opted for Camp David's Evergreen Chapel, a nondenominational church, so that he could worship more privately.

Bubbles

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Since his unexpected death late last week, a lot (probably too much) has been written about Michael Jackson – much of it focusing on “the bubble” in which he lived his life: sealed off from real human experience in a world of his own, a world where any number of unusual things were deemed quite normal.
There has been much wringing of media hands about this bubble, and society’s role in shaping and maintaining it for the troubled singer and pop culture phenomenon.

Are we to blame, commentators ask, for Jackson’s early demise?
The question is worth asking, if it compels us to re-examine our cultural obsessions and the damage they can do. But a bigger point may have gotten lost: we all live in our own bubbles. Michael Jackson’s was just much more public.

Has Pope Benedict visited Medjugorje sub secreto?

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So as Medjugorje celebrates the 28th anniversary this week of the first reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary there is discussion as to whether or not Pope Benedict has ever visited the Croatian town.

Pope John Paul II never journeyed to Medjugorje. Some visitors to Medjugorje are claiming several sightings, some years back, of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now, Pope Benedict XVIand, they say, the cardinal was keeping his profile quite low.

New Haven Supreme Court ruling helps, not hurts, Sotomayor nomination

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The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group of white firefighters in New Haven today. Just so, Sonya Sotomayor took one giant step towards becoming the sixth Catholic justice on the Court. That’s right. The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by Sotomayor and two of her colleagues on the Appeals Court will make it more, not less, likely that she is confirmed.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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