Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Seattle

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Legislature is considering a bill that would require so-called limited service pregnancy centers to disclose immediately – and post signs on their doors stating – that they do not provide abortion or comprehensive birth control services, referrals for abortion or comprehensive birth control services, or medical care for pregnant women.

The bill would not apply to facilities, like Planned Parenthood, that provide abortions.

Opponents of the bill say it could be used to drive the pregnancy centers out of existence via lawsuits. The centers, many of which are faith-based, are often staffed by volunteers and dependent on donations.

“This is a movement by Planned Parenthood and NARAL nationally to get this type of legislation in,” said Dominican Sister Sharon Park, director of the Washington State Catholic Conference, which represents the Catholic bishops of the state on matters of public policy. She said similar legislation has been defeated in other states.

“I think they’re looking to Washington because we’re known as the most pro-choice state in the United States, to try to pass this,” said Sister Sharon.

Four of the six people who testified in favor of the bill were Planned Parenthood employees, she said.

Sister Sharon said people should contact their senators and ask them to oppose SB 6452.

— Catholic Northwest Progress

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

BILLINGS – In a recent column, Bishop Michael W. Warfel talked about the symbolism of the cross:

“The cross, more than any other symbol, is presented to us during the Season of Lent. And it should. It is central to a way of life that truly maybe called Christian. As Jesus told his disciples, ‘Whoever does not pick up their cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple.’ The tendency in our day and age, however, is to soften what it stands for even though it is a central teaching of Jesus. It is important to remember that the cross at the time of Christ was an instrument of execution and death.

“Our present age is one that tones down the message of the cross. Consider how crosses are so often adorned with jewels and how people often wear them more as jewelry than as symbol of discipleship. I’ve seen crucifixes in homes and churches that seemed more like wall ornaments than expressions of faith. The cross needs to be seen for what it is and not merely an adornment! …

“I am not saying that our use of crosses or crucifixes should revert to the bloody realism of the Baroque era. My point is to urge us all to see the cross for what it is: a symbol of death – death to anything that would prevent us from embracing the life God desires to give us. When it becomes too soft or counterfeit, we miss what it demands of us….”

— The Harvest

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – In an effort to make its campus more sustainable, the University of Portland will no longer sell or use disposable plastic water bottles. UP is the first college or university on the West coast to eliminate disposable plastic water bottles and joins more than 20 schools nationwide in the movement. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to drink tap water and use reusable water containers.

“This will not only reduce the amount of waste generated on our campus but will help focus attention on the critical issues of sustainability and water rights, “ said Holy Cross Father William Beauchamp, the university’s president.

In 2009, the university used 53,112 disposable plastic water bottles. According to industry research, fewer than 25 percent of disposable plastic water bottles are recycled. Much of the water contained in disposable plastic bottles comes from distant locations, requiring a large environmental cost to bottle, ship, and transport.

— Catholic Sentinel

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