Leaving it all on the field — or in the clubhouse

If sports is indeed like life, then the role of faith in that endeavor can be every bit as prickly a question. The GetReligion blog posted a somewhat lengthy examination of the praying-before-games situation. And please, no quotes from the movie “Bull Durham” about “the church of baseball.”

Update on fallout from California ‘Bodies’ exhibit

Here’s an update on the continuing fallout from the “Bodies” exhibitions that have been on display in Kansas City, Mo., and California as well as other places in the United States. The California Legislature has taken the matter into its own hands with a bill regulating corpse shows, according to this posting from The Catholic Key, newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.

In Kansas City a “Bodies” exhibit called “Bodies Revealed” is currently on display. The company responsible for that show has a second one touring the U.S., and a rival company put together the show now in California.

Project to build Catholic home for dying moving ahead in Oregon

Here’s an interesting story from the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., regarding a project involving a Catholic home for the dying in northeast Portland. The subject of death with dignity continues as a front-burner topic in the state, which has seen more than its share of debates on the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia over the past decade and a half.

As the paper points out, Oregon voters approved assisted suicide in 1994 and again in 1997 after an effort to have the law repealed.

Dan Schutte talks about ‘You Are Near’

Dan Schutte, who wrote the liturgical song “You Are Near” while a member of the St. Louis Jesuits, talks about how he came to write the song in a posting on the blog The Deacon’s Bench.

The song is getting lots of attention because the first word in its chorus is “Yahweh,” and the Vatican has declared the word can no longer be used in Catholic worship. And that suits Schutte just fine, according to his posting.

‘Harry and Louise’ are back, with a Catholic-endorsed message

Harry and Louise are back, and this time the Catholic Health Association is among the groups endorsing their message on health care reform. The fictional couple, whose 1993-94 television ads financed by the Health Insurance Association of America helped to defeat the Clinton health care reform plan, now are urging the next president and Congress to make health care reform their top domestic priority.

In the 14 years since Harry and Louise first took to the airwaves, “the lack of access to health care has only worsened,” said Sister Carol Keehan, CHA president and CEO, at an Aug. 19 event at the National Press Club in Washington.

Joining her in endorsing the new spots were the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Hospital Association, Families USA and National Federation of Independent Business. Even the America’s Health Insurance Plans, formed from the 2003 merger of the Health Insurance Association of America and American Association of Health Plans, has signed on in support of the ads.

The TV spots will run on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and Comedy Central and on Sunday network talk shows Aug. 24 to Sept. 7, to cover both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

How Cardinal O’Malley dealt with clergy sex abuse crisis

To mark the fifth anniversary of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s installation as archbishop of Boston, a guest columnist for The Pilot, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, details how the prelate began his tenure by focusing on the clergy sexual abuse scandal that had rocked the New England see.

Barbara Thorp, director of the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach in the Archdiocese of Boston, relates how sex abuse victims teared up during the 2003 installation homily, when Cardinal O’Malley addressed them by saying “You are the wounds on the body of Christ.”

The cardinal followed up in 2006 with a “pilgrimage of reconciliation and hope” to nine parishes where children had been abused by priests, ending each visit by inviting the clergy present to prostrate themselves on the altar in repentance for the sins of abuse.

“A key to understanding Cardinal Sean’s tenure these past five years is the image of standing by the cross of Christ as the only sure path to healing,” Thorp wrote.

Controversy over ‘Bodies’ exhibits continues

In its blog, The Catholic Key, newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., reports that the controversial “Bodies” exhibits continue to raise eyebrows.

The company that organizes the exhibits of “plastinated bodies” of dead people from China has said that all of the people, in advance of their deaths, had willingly donated their bodies for this purpose, but it was unable to produce the signed consent forms. The Kansas City show, “Bodies Revealed,” ends Sept. 1.

The exhibits feature human bodies in various poses, and include an array of various organs, and there has been spectulation that the bodies on display are those of executed Chinese prisoners.

The company that produced the Kansas City show has a second show making the rounds called “Bodies:The Exhbition.” A third show titled “Body Worlds” that is touring various cities is produced by a rival company.