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Bishop Wows Georgia Catholics at Baseball Charity Night (1963)

After Savannah Bishop Hartmayer threw out the first pitch, more than 2,000 pounds of food was collected for a diocesan apostolate that serves the poor and the homeless.

06/05/2014 Comments (1)
Sarah E. Dixon/The Southern Cross

Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah, Ga., throws out the first pitch at Grayson Stadium on June 4.

– Sarah E. Dixon/The Southern Cross

SAVANNAH, Ga. — It's the first time the Savannah Sand Gnats have seen a standing ovation after the first pitch.

That's probably because Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah threw it in front of more than 1,500 Catholics in attendance for a charity night at Grayson Stadium for the Sand Gnats vs. the Asheville Tourists game.

Barbara King, director of communications for the diocese, said the bishop had a combination of practice and experience on his side.

“He practiced on Tuesday with the Benedictine Military School baseball team, who won state baseball this year,” King told CNA June 5. “He also played some baseball in his youth, so he did a good job both at practice and at the game.”


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Pope Francis Appoints New Board for Vatican’s Financial Watchdog (1598)

The appointments mark a new step in the path toward financial transparency and strengthening the international profile of the authority.

06/05/2014 Comment
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed a new board for the Authority for Financial Information, marking a new step in the path toward financial transparency and strengthening the international profile of the authority.

The new members are: Marc Odendall, a financial consultant in the philanthropic sector, from Switzerland; Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, president of the Council of Consultors advising the president of Singapore; Juan Zarate, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a Harvard professor of law; and the Italian Maria Bianca Farina, managing director of the Italian insurance companies Poste Vita and Poste Assicurazioni.

The Pope had already appointed...READ MORE

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Bill Against ‘Wrongful Birth’ Lawsuits Could Protect Disabled Children (3163)

The bill has 36 co-sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

06/05/2014 Comments (6)

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.

– congress.gov

WASHINGTON — The Every Child Is a Blessing Act, a bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives, aims to protect children with disabilities against lawsuits claiming they should have been aborted due to their conditions.

“No child should ever have to hear they should have never been born,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., who sponsored the bill and introduced it to the House of Representatives, in a May 22 statement.

“I believe every child is a blessing and should be treated as such. Wrongful birth cases are a waste of judicial resources and amount to nothing more than court-sanctioned child abuse. This bill will do away with these disturbing and discriminating lawsuits.”


Filed under catholic faith, down syndrome, eugenics, human dignity, pro-life, sex-selective abortion, u.s. congress

Blasphemy Laws Exist in Nearly One-Quarter of World’s Countries (2326)

Consequences range from fines to the death penalty, as in the case of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Christian woman who has been sentenced to death in Sudan.

06/05/2014 Comments (4)

– pewforum.org

WASHINGTON — Laws punishing acts of blasphemy or apostasy against certain religions are present in almost one-fourth of the world’s countries, said a U.S.-based religious research group.

“Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain even today,” said the Pew Research Center in a May 30 blog post.

The organization found that “that, as of 2012, nearly a quarter of the world’s countries and territories” had anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and 11% of countries had “laws or policies penalizing apostasy.” Consequences for changing faiths or criticizing a religion ranged from fines to...READ MORE

Filed under apostasy, blasphemy, catholic faith, human dignity, religious persecution

On the Front Lines of Clergy Sexual Abuse (7304)

Cardinal Seán O’Malley and his hard-won expertise.

06/05/2014 Comments (24)
Facebook/Archdiocese of Boston

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston.

– Facebook/Archdiocese of Boston

Twelve years have passed, but Father Roger Landry, a Fall River, Mass., priest, vividly remembers then-Bishop Seán O’Malley weeping during a meeting with his priests as he recalled the stories of victims of clergy abuse.

At the time, Bishop O’Malley was preparing for the 2002 Dallas meeting that would approve a landmark “zero tolerance” policy for priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Bishop O’Malley had come to Fall River in 1992, in the wake of a scandal involving a serial clerical predator, James Porter.

“As he was recalling what some of the victims of Father Porter had told him, he started to weep so profusely that he needed to excuse himself for several minutes,” Father...READ MORE

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Of Cigarettes, Christianity and Cool; Apologetics: Win the Soul, Not the Argument and Much More! (3061)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

06/05/2014 Comment

Follow Of Cigarettes, Christianity & Cool by Richard Becker of Catholic Exchange to read more.

Of Cigarettes, Christianity & Cool by Richard Becker of Catholic Exchange - BigPulpit.com

Apologetics: Win the Soul, Not the Argument – Marge Fenelon, OSV Newsweekly

Crawling to Mass, Literally. . . Not Even Catholic - Jean Seah, Ignitum Today

Is The Church Too Negative? - Donald DeMarco PhD, Truth and Charity Forum

Pope Francis, Marriage & the "End of Infallibility by John Zmirak of The American Catholic - BigPulpit.com

Many Parents Drawn to the Faith Through Their Children - Susan Klemond, OSV Newsweekly

Pope Francis and A Paean to Doubt – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Families Taking Page from Plato’s Republic & That’s Bad News – Robert Vega, Aleteia

Planned...READ MORE

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Whither China, 25 Years After Tiananmen Square? (3361)

Activist Reggie Littlejohn discusses the communist country’s current stance toward human rights.

06/04/2014 Comments (3)
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Chinese paramilitary police officers stand guard below a portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 2014.

– Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

It has been 25 years since the Tiananmen Square massacre, and China is still far from enjoying religious liberty, civil freedom or democracy. The Catholic Church must still worship underground, and the country’s one-child policy continues to cause widespread human rights atrocities, particularly against women. Forced abortions continue, and the government has even reverted to placing the children of dissidents in detention.

One dissident was Zhang Lin, a nuclear physicist who has been detained nearly half a dozen times over the past 13 years. A fearless champion of human rights, Lin wasn’t at Tiananmen but led protests as part of the pro-democracy movement in his hometown. He currently...READ MORE

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Cardinal Maradiaga: ‘Pastoral Conversion’ Is Top Priority for Pope’s Family Synod (3749)

The Honduran cardinal said the bishops and Pope want to focus on how parishes and pastors form and nourish families, not on the question of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.

06/04/2014 Comments (12)
Walter Sanchez Silva/CNA

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

– Walter Sanchez Silva/CNA

WASHINGTON — Speculation and expectation are building for the upcoming extraordinary synod of bishops that convenes this October to discuss the pastoral challenges to the family all over the world in the 21st century.

But according to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegulcigalpa, Honduras, a member of Pope Francis’ council of eight cardinal advisers, the focus will be mainly on “pastoral conversion” in how the Church forms and nourishes marriage and families and not the separate question of  Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.

Cardinal Rodriguez sat down June 3 with journalists in Washington, where he shared his insights on the Pope’s vision for the upcoming synod on...READ MORE

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