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  • How he does it
    The Holy Father has a way of dressing down foes without getting nasty. We can learn from him.
  • God is merciful to us despite our complicated nature. Can we not be merciful to each other?
  • An experience with racial injustice
    There are some people who are puzzled by the marches for racial justice. A man who works in the oil fields said recently in Tulsa: "Everyone there is the same regardless of color. If you can do the work, you stay; if you can’t, you go home." But the problem, now as always, is much more complex than that.
  • Our vanishing children
    An Associated Press report revealed June 29 that the Chinese government has devised a widespread plan amounting to the "demographic genocide" of its Uighur population through forced sterilization.
  • Separation and neutrality
    It has taken more than half a century to sort this issue out, but I think we have reached the right conclusion. The point of the establishment clause is not to push religion off into a corner. It’s to let us make up our own minds.
  • How Catholic organizations are weathering the pandemic
    It felt like a cheap shot by the AP at a favorite punching bag, overlooking the reality of this pandemic and the needs of parishes and dioceses, but also overlooking all the ways that Catholic organizations have been helping communities suffering the impact of the pandemic.
  • Although it is ordinary time in the church year, I think it often feels like Good Friday these days.
  • Mass in three dimensions once again
    Your parish, your diocese, your church, all are hurting right now.
  • Two approaches to racism
    This bishops' vision differs from that of the Black Lives Matter organization. It seeks to unite rather than divide, aiming for reconciliation rather than an unending power struggle between groups defining themselves by race and ideology.
  • From the Archives
    This advertisement appeared July 17, 1970.
  • Before fortune cookies were regulated
    We would get Chinese food to go from Sun and Rosie’s Chinese restaurant on the corner of East 28th and Burnside, next door to the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Portland. Priests and other church workers frequented the restaurant, so what happened that evening was surprising.
  • The parish: A beacon of hope in uncertain times
    Even the smallest flicker of the Gospel’s light, which we can recognize from afar — in a true word, beautiful song, or genuine smile — can bring our hope leaping back to life. And what if we looked at our parishes as these places where hope is kindled?
  • Time to seek the truth
    I won’t be pressed into calling myself a racist, but I am learning that the color of my skin helped me navigate the world. Sorry I am tardy to the lesson.
  • In praise of principals
    They might sort out a student kerfuffle, crunch budget numbers, return a distressed parent’s call or contact a plumber about the leaky toilet in the boys bathroom. It’s all in a day’s work.
  • As I write, it is July 4, Independence Day in the United States. This American holiday is always accompanied with parades, fireworks, flag waving and a heightened sense of pride of country. And this is all good – to a point.
  • To sanction or encourage certain wrongful actions, it is often necessary to manipulate language. The plain meaning of words can get in the way of convincing others they should tolerate or participate in wrongdoing, or otherwise embrace situations of evil or injustice. Verbal obfuscation becomes necessary to veil evident moral truths.
    We must be impressed with the probably correct estimate that in a century twenty rural families leave a more numerous progeny than a hundred city families. It is, therefore, a fact that the future will be with the church that ministers to the rural population.
  • Perhaps the jolt of being humbled by the discovery that we are lepers will make it easier to embrace the more difficult truth that sin has sunk deeper roots within us than any germ. It is so much harder to keep our souls clean.
  • Q and A on Catholic investing
    A broader driver appears to be increased interest in social justice issues — in many cases spurred by the younger generation — with particular attention paid to environmental sustainability, peaceful conflict resolution and various manifestations of inequality.
  • Sadly, only about 59.3% of Americans eligible to vote actually voted in 2016. Catholic turnout isn’t delineated but it’s probably similar.
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