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 June 10, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

GREAT FALLS – In his column “Always to Walk in Christ,” Bishop Michael Warfel reflected on the damage caused by sexual abuse:

Current news accounts of clergy sexual abuse of minors have caused much sadness as well as anger among Catholics. While it is important to note that the number of clerics who have abused children is actually small, the damage is great. The impact of a few predators demonstrates just how far-reaching and harmful the sin of sexual abuse of children can be. In fact, there are many victims when children are violated.

The first and most obvious are the children themselves. Affects of the abuse can be long-lasting, especially when an individual hides the fact that they once were abused.

The family of the victim can also end up being victimized. This is particularly noticeable once an abuse by a clergyman becomes known. The very figure who was supposed to be trustworthy and a holy man of God ends up being a person who undermines a family’s trust in the Church, its leadership and ministers.

The larger Church can also be a victim, which seems to be what is happening at this time. Some news reporters would have you think that the Church is filled with decay. While abuse is embarrassing and a source of anger, the Church remains a holy institution.

Finally, the abuse of a few priests undermines the ministry of the great majority of good and faithful priests who work long, hard hours to serve God’s people.

While I could cite incidences of the sexual abuse of children that have occurred in other churches, societal organizations and public schools (abuse is a human problem, not a Catholic problem), I would rather emphasize the fact that one of the safest places for children to be in the United States is in a Catholic parish or school.

— The Harvest (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings)

GREAT FALLS – Two wind turbines for the generation of electricity were transported from Chicago in April for installation at the Poor Clares monastery. Wind Power of Montana LLC plans to install the turbines a stone’s throw from the walls of the monastery.

“Because of all the wind we have here, using it to provide our power just seemed like a natural thing,” said the abbess, Sister Catherine Cook. “We’re excited about it.”

Scott Palmer of Wind Power said he enjoys the Sisters’ enthusiasm. “Every time we do something out there, they’re taking pictures,” he said.

The turbines rise about 35 feet high. Surplus power that’s generated and not needed by the monastery itself will go into NorthWestern’s system through net metering. That value will then be deducted from the Poor Clares’ utility bills.

Trimming their utility bills is not the sole reason for the project. The Sisters say energy efficiency and respect for the environment are values consistent with their Franciscan heritage.

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – A rally at St. Francis Parish brought out protest against Arizona’s new law seeking out undocumented migrants. Protestors called for repeal of the law and reform of the nation’s immigration system.

Retired Father Bob Krueger quoted Portland’s Archbishop John Vlazny, who wrote earlier this year about why the church gets involved in discussions about immigration: “Whether the migrants arrive legally or not, one of the fundamental requirements of our faith, based on the teachings of Christ himself and Catholic social teaching, is care for aliens and newcomers.”

Father Krueger said the current immigration system is “damaging to great numbers of people and their families, people who are already victims of a flawed global economic system, and causing immense pain and anxiety for most members of the immigrant community regardless of their status related to documentation.”

The U.S. bishops also have decried the new Arizona law, which criminalizes undocumented immigrants and allows authorities to ask for documentation in unrelated investigations. It appears to allow profiling based on appearance and ethnicity, a feature the bishops termed “draconian.”

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

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