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May 2nd, 2013
12:52 PM ET

Ex-NFL player's support for gay NBA player apparently costs him church appearance

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – LeRoy Butler, a former safety for the Green Bay Packers, is one of many professional athletes to tweet support for Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out as gay this week.

“Congrats to Jason Collins,” Butler tweeted April 29, the day Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story.

But Butler says the four-word tweet cost him a speaking appearance at a Wisconsin church.

He was scheduled to speak at the church (whose name he has not revealed) about bullying and his new book, "The LeRoy Butler Story: From Wheelchair to the Lambeau Leap." That was until the church, according to Butler, told him he was no longer welcome because of his tweet in support of Collins.

"The pastor called me and that's when we got into the old, the whole religion thing about gay people and things of that nature and the conversation just went back and forth for us a couple of minutes," Butler told Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Same-sex marriage

Pope goes economic, harkens back to predecessors
May 2nd, 2013
12:51 PM ET

Pope goes economic, harkens back to predecessors

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – In the last two days, newly installed Pope Francis has become increasingly vocal about economics issues.

On Wednesday, the Pope Francis made reference to a building collapse in Bangladesh that killed upwards of 400 people in a sharp condemnation of worker exploitation and “slave labor.”

"Not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!" Pope Francis in his homily.

On Thursday, Pope Francis continued with his economic message by tweeting “My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost,” to his almost 2.5 million followers.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Catholic Church • Economy • Food • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

Pope Benedict back at the Vatican
A helicopter carrying Pope emeritus Benedict XVI approaches the Vatican on Thursday, May 2.
May 2nd, 2013
12:37 PM ET

Pope Benedict back at the Vatican

By Eric Marrapodi and Hada Messia, CNN

Rome (CNN) –Pope Francis welcomed his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican on Thursday afternoon.

The now retired Pope Benedict had been living at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo since he formally stepped down as head of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and left Vatican City on February 28.

Benedict was the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign.

Benedict traveled back to the Vatican on Thursday by helicopter. He will live on the Vatican grounds at a newly renovated convent called Mater Ecclesiae. He was driven from the Vatican heliport to his new residence where he was greeted by his successor. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters that Francis greeted Benedict, "with great fraternal cordiality. Together they went to the monastery chapel for a brief moment of prayer."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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