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 May 20, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – A recent editorial in Oregon’s Catholic newspaper addressed the semantics of secular journalism in a piece titled “Being ‘fair’ to only one side”:

We are sorely disappointed that a news organization we admire – National Public Radio – has made a language choice unfair to the pro-life movement.

NPR’s managing editor, David Sweeney, has issued an internal memo, instructing reporters to stop saying “pro-life” and instead use the phrase “abortion rights opponents.” What’s more, staff aren’t permitted to say abortion supporters are “pro-abortion” but can call pro-lifers “anti-abortion.”

NPR is not alone in this unbalanced policy. The Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN, CBS, and NBC have all adopted similar terms. The lame defense is that the term “pro-life” is vague.

We guess that could be true, if you haven’t paid attention to the news for 40 years.

The real problem is not that the words are confusing, but that they are upsetting, getting at a truth that many of us have long known and that science has confirmed: unique personhood, in the form of DNA sequences, begins at conception time.

Editors are re-casting the debate as a matter of rights instead of a struggle over the life of a human being who hasn’t gone through the development phase of being born.

If it’s rights language and accuracy they want, NPR and other organizations should use the term “preborn rights advocates.” That gets more clearly to the point. Pro-lifers are standing up for a group of human beings, not simply opposing a medical procedure.

NPR needs to reconsider. The pro-life movement should not get special treatment. But neither should those who favor legal abortion.

PORTLAND – On May 2, during one of the most public of liturgies on the Portland Catholic calendar, Archbishop John Vlazny emphasized marriage and family unity. It was the annual Cinco de Mayo Mass on the Willamette River waterfront, part of a festival that links Portland to is Mexican sister city, Guadalajara.

As the nation focuses on a new Arizona law that increases enforcement against illegal immigration, the archbishop offered words of compassion to families separated by deportation.

The archbishop and other Catholic leaders have called for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for workers already in the U.S.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Inland Register archives

Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved