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 March 17, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Helena

HELENA – In his column for his diocesan newspaper, Bishop George Thomas discussed the possible ban of capital punishment in Montana.

He quoted extensively from the work of the late Cardinal Avery Dulles SJ, who wrote, “In our day, a new recognition of the dignity and inalienable rights of the human person has dawned.” In turn, the cardinal quoted Gino Concetti, an Italian Franciscan and expert on right-to-life theology: “In light of the Word of God, and thus of faith, life – all human life – is sacred and untouchable no matter how heinous the crimes…. [The criminal] does not lose his fundamental right to life for it is primordial, inviolable and inalienable, and thus comes under the power of no one whatsoever.”

The cardinal, wrote Bishop Thomas, raised four serious objections in his final conclusion:

• There is a possibility that the convict may be innocent.
• The death penalty often has the effect of whetting an inordinate appetite for revenge, rather than satisfying a zeal for justice.
• Capital punishment may cheapen the value of life by fostering a casual attitude toward other evils such as abortion, suicide, and euthanasia. Some hold that the death penalty is incompatible with the teaching of Jesus on forgiveness.
• Cardinal Dulles gave special consideration to the teaching of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) when the pope declared that “as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, cases in which the execution of the offender would be absolutely necessary are very rare if not practically nonexistent” (EV 56).

“As citizens and their legislators in the State of Montana struggle to understand the grave moral dimensions of death penalty legislation, I hope they find Cardinal Dulles’s prayerful and scholarly analysis and authoritative Church teaching informative and, more importantly, transformative.”

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

Archdiocese of Portland

ST. BENEDICT – Portland’s Archbishop John Vlazny ordained three men to the diaconate, their final stage before ordination to priesthood, Feb. 1 at Mt. Angel Abbey.

Deacon Mark Gikenyi is a native of Kenya. He studied in Tanzania before entering Mt. Angel Seminary in 2006.

Deacon Juan Medina, a Discalced Carmelite originally from Redwood City, Calif., entered the seminary in 2004. He holds degrees from Mount Angel as well as the Pontifical University Teresianum in Rome.

Deacon Bryce McProud is a former Episcopal priest who renounced Episcopal orders in 2008 and became a Catholic. He and his wife, Deanna, have a son and two grandchildren.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – In a column titled “Each day in God’s hands,” Archbishop Peter Sartain reflected on the importance of a life and its place in God’s plans.

“It is always good for me to take stock of the fact that somehow what I do each day plays a part in God’s plan and through him can bear fruit for me and for others in eternal life. Because it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that only the projects I complete and the goals I accomplish bear fruit, God invites me to broaden my horizons. He asks me, ‘Do you believe that your life matters to me, that I have included you in my plan? Are you willing to recognize that everything you do in the course of a day participates in my plan, even activities which seem to be of no consequence, even those which seem to have failed or leave you perplexed or fearful?’

“In his love and providence God uses us in ways far beyond our understanding, and what we do each moment matters to him and serves his purpose. God depends neither on our success nor on our awareness of exactly how we are serving as his instruments. He can bring fruit from a humdrum daily routine, the smallest step we take, even our failures.”

— The Catholic Northwest Progress (Archdiocese of Seattle)

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