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Head of Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi hands powers to vicar general

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Citing health concerns, the head of the Legionaries of Christ handed over his governing powers to the order's second highest official for an indefinite period of time.

Legionary Fr. Alvaro Corcuera made the announcement in a letter Tuesday posted on the congregation's website.

"I do not have the health and energy necessary to face responsibly the demands of the general governance in the present time," said Corcuera, who succeeded the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado as general director of the order and its lay movement, Regnum Christi, in 2005.

Church's new doctor inspires woman's voice

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Devi Mathieu was traveling in Minnesota on Sunday, the day Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Hildegard of Bingen as a doctor of the church.

Had she been at home in Sebastopol, Calif., Mathieu would have mixed up a batch of cinnamon-nutmeg cookies based on one of Hildegard's own recipes. Then she would have organized a special gathering of friends to celebrate the music of her favorite saint, an earth mystic, Benedictine abbess, wisdom teacher, "Sybil of the Rhine," author, healer and spiritual conscience for the patriarchy of her time.

NCR writers among Religion Newswriters Association honorees

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Several NCR writers received honors at the Religion Newswriters Association 2012 awards competition, held at the organization’s annual conference Oct. 4-6 in Bethesda, Md.

At the awards ceremony on the conference’s final night, NCR editor at large Tom Roberts received the top prize for his book The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself, named the Nonfiction Book of the Year.

Jesuit Volunteer founder dies

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A memorial service will be held Friday in Spokane, Wash., for Jesuit Fr. John “Jack” Morris, the priest who named and helped found the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 1956 and who in 1982 led a 7,000-mile pilgrimage from Bangor Naval Base in Bremerton, Wash., to Bethlehem to call attention to the threat of nuclear weapons.

Morris died Sept. 30 at the Jesuit infirmary in Spokane after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Anaconda, Mont., Morris would have been 85 on Oct. 22.

Vatican lifts suspension of priest who altered prayers at Mass

An Illinois priest who was forced out of his parish by his bishop for improvising prayers during Mass has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican.

The Vatican decided in favor of Fr. William Rowe on one of three counts, saying Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., had not followed the proper procedure.

Update: Judge allows Texas cheerleaders to use Bible banners

Texas cheerleaders can continue to use banners with Bible verses after a court granted them a temporary restraining order against their school district.

A judge in Hardin County, Texas, issued the order on Thursday after parents filed suit on behalf of the cheerleaders. It orders the Kountze Independent School District to "cease and desist" from preventing high school cheerleaders from displaying the large paper banners, through which football players ran at the start of games.

A hearing on the case has been set for Oct. 4.

A lawyer from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the district saying the cheerleaders' tradition was "inappropriate and unconstitutional."

Superintendent Kevin Weldon had stopped the use of the banners after consulting with a legal adviser at the Texas Association of School Boards.

Liberty Institute, which is representing cheerleaders and parents in the case, hailed the judge's decision.

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April 11-24, 2014

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