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 April 29, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Helena

MISSOULA – At Christ the King Parish, 26 members of the parish’s University of Montana Catholic Campus Ministry attended an informal question-and-answer session with Bishop George Thomas on March 8. Topics ranged from the story of the bishop’s vocation to ways in which university students can spread their faith to friends.

“You should be asking the hard questions, and not just taking things at face value,” the bishop told the students.

He asked the students to continue to learn about their Catholic traditions. He characterized himself as “a life-long student of the Church.”

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – On March 31, Portland’s archbishop cancelled his subscription to The Oregonian, Portland’s daily newspaper, after the most recent in a series of editorials and cartoons, some national in origin, unfairly criticizing the Church.

“(O)n March 30 there was the unconscionable cartoon on the editorial page that unfairly belittled our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. It was a portrayal dripping with hostility, an attack against our high priest, our universal pastor, our faithful teacher, the one person who, in the eyes of the world, symbolizes all that we are and do as Catholics. I was insulted and I hope you were, too…. Can you imagine the reaction people of other faiths or persuasions would have if their leadership were so publicly scorned? The Oregonian wouldn’t dare publish something so ugly about the Dalai Lama. Nor should they.”

But the last straw, he said, came the very next day, when the editorial page included “a prominent editorial” in which the editors “arrogantly scolded the church for its past failures in handling this matter of child sexual abuse and, in an insulting and unfair attack, chose this most holy time of the year, during our church’s Year of the Priest, to connect the practice of celibacy among our clergy with the problem of child sexual abuse, when everyone knows that most abusers by far are married persons! Is every single person now under a cloud of suspicion? Or only single Catholic priests? If only the latter, don’t you wonder why?”

He admitted that “the Oregonian is most likely no more guilty than its counterparts in other communities…. But the … hostility, arrogance and ridicule that greeted readers during the early days of Holy Week, at the expense of the Catholic Church, is simply not tolerable and should not be condoned without some form of protest. The editors, of course, hold all the cards, so what to do? I canceled my subscription and urge others to do the same. Something will be missing while I sip my morning coffee, but with less time for breakfast, maybe I can jog a bit farther and eat a bit less. There’s inevitably something good that can be discovered in most unpleasant situations.”

He concluded, “we Catholics are not perfect, but we are deserving of human respect.”

EUGENE – Catholics, including clergy, helped lead a March 21 immigration reform march from St. Mary Church to the office of Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).

The 600 marchers, largely Latino families from the Eugene-Springfield area, were calling for passage of comprehensive immigration reform, an initiative the U.S. Catholic bishops have supported. Those in attendance were joined by four priests and leaders of immigrants rights groups.

PORTLAND – Doctors who oppose assisted suicide are charging conspiracy and control in the wake of an Oregon state report issued last month.

The annual physician-assisted suicide tally from the state’s Department of Human Services shows that 95 prescriptions were written in 2009 by 55 doctors, resulting in 59 deaths. In the 12 years from 1998-2009, there have been 460 reported assisted suicide deaths in the state.

Physicians for Compassionate Care, a group of doctors troubled by the lethal prescription law, says the report is far too short for the kind of close surveillance the state is supposed to exercise over assisted suicide. “There are no true investigations of assisted suicide in Oregon by the DHS,” says a statement from the doctors’ group.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

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