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  • Cloaked attack
    Archbishop Sample should continue to work diligently to stamp out clergy abuse in this archdiocese as he did in the meeting with our young people. And he also should work with American bishops and the Holy See to incorporate lay commission review as “a universal and consistent practice in the whole worldwide church,” which the archbishop admits is the pope’s goal. 
  • Unforeseen problems with death penalty stance
    The pope’s decision also means Catholics will automatically be removed from juries handling capital crimes. Instead of having more influence on how criminals should be treated, Catholics will have less. 
  • Challenge us
    The Sentinel’s most-read articles seemed to be more “feel-good” stories than “do-good” challenges.
  • It’s ideology
    Readers of the Catholic Sentinel would have been better served if the writer had either restricted the article to simply reporting on Dr. Hruz’ presentation or written a full-length exposé of the transgender issue.
  • Ask them
     Holding a workshop to make decisions about how a marginalized group will be treated, without inviting members of the group, is exactly the kind of arrogance Pope Francis has criticized.
  • The benefits of Kavanaugh
    Now, three months after the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s clear he is good news for supporters of religious liberty, backers of the right to life and opponents of judicial activism.   
  • Honoring Mother Earth
    In Oregon, we can honor our Mother Earth by taking action and passing legislation that will protect our planet. The Clean Energy Jobs bill will help ensure a clean energy future for the state we love.
  • Hate on the rise
    Many Oregonians, especially those in hip Portland, see their state as a bastion of open-mindedness. Recent trends should squelch that perception and jolt Catholics into action.
  • Ode to parish life
    Where I wait in line for confession on Saturday afternoons and really am sorry for my sins, one of which is wishing I could hear what the person in front of me is saying in the confessional — This is a Catholic parish.
  • President Trump’s words are absolutely correct: “This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.” But how he applies these words are absolutely incorrect.
  • From the Archives
    The informal dancing party given in Hibernia Hall by the Auxiliary to Ancient Order of Hibernians, last Fri­day, was a delightful success. 
  • Wills not magic
    The court has to consider the best interests of the child regardless of the wishes of the parents. The court could find that the parents made a poor choice. 
  • Earth needs care
    I wish this editorial could be published more widely so more people could read his ideas on the care of God’s planet. We all need to take this as a plan for care.
  • Knowledge unites
    Why does division exist regarding immigration within our Catholic community? It’s because of a lack of understanding of Scripture and Catholic social teaching.
  • In need of touch
    As the new year begins, I wonder how many people are in real need of a human touch. 
  • I like El Centinela

    Members of St. Anne Parish like El Centinela not only because of the information you provide but especially because it is in Spanish. 

  • No celebration
     An armistice is the final thing Jesus asked for at the Garden of Gethsemane, “Put your sword back in its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mt 26:52).
  • Trust the Lord
    Whatever happened to giving to the Lord — from the top of our income?
  • Accusers investigated
    So much for the suggestion that ‘Believe women’ is a remedy for allegations of misconduct. Instead, the old reliable presumption of innocence until proven otherwise must remain our guide. 
  • Holy Family into Egypt
    The couple and their toddler sat in a booth at the McDonalds on West Burnside, not far from St. Mary Cathedral. I couldn’t stop watching them. Their few words sounded so gentle, their faces were so filled with love and caring, and yet their demeanor revealed them to be so weary.
  • A year for ethics
    We begin a yearlong series that will explore everyday ethical situations, from watching pirated videos to imagining a love affair with someone in the office. We all face such situations. And like it or not, our choices make a difference to others and to our souls. 
  • Elections are our responsibility
    This case serves as one example of the profound effect elections and the Supreme Court can have on the way the Catholic Church is able to operate in this country.
  • As the saying goes, “Politics and religion don’t mix.” Although this cliché is espoused by many, you will not hear it from Pope Francis.
  • You missed it
     Labeling all preachers of the prosperity gospel as hucksters is convenient, but inaccurate.
  • Are Catholics more like cats or dogs?
    Knowing someone’s preferred pet tells a lot about the personality. I think it’s about time someone asked, “Are Catholics more like cats or dogs?”
  • Gene-edited babies and the runaway train of IVF
    One of the great tragedies of our age has been our tone deafness to the evils of IVF.
  • How donating your distributions can lower your tax bill
    Do you have an IRA account? Are you 70 ½ or older and withdrawing your required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA account every year? If so, and you are donating money to charities and the church, you might be paying more in taxes than you need to.
  • Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24, 1968) the crew of Apollo 8  entered lunar orbit and began circling the moon – the first time in history for humans to visit another world (see: https://bit.ly/2EkLJda). 
  • My Christmas crush on Sister Mary Athanasia
    Joel and I were surprised and embarrassed that our teacher probably overheard me singing her praises. So we did what shy nine-year-old boys would do: we ran home to hide until the problem went away. 
  • If we confront life with pure hearts and a simple faith, it might be true. And so on those days that seem the most hopeless, there’s hope.
  • The church turns our funds into the loving, protective presence of Jesus Christ.
  • Protecting life
    On behalf of Councils 1594 (Medford), 11258 (Central Point), and 13407 (Ashland), a letter from our Supreme Knight Carl Anderson was read and checks adding up to $24,101 were presented to Beth Sheets, executive director of the Pregnancy Center. 
  • The right man
    Pope Francis is the right man in the right place at the right time. I hope he is not discouraged by “old wineskins” from taking actions he sees fit.
  • Be with them
    Unless we lead with compassion for the women who feel like they have no other choice but to abort, hearts will never change.
  • Futility of war
    There can be no celebration of  bravery occasioned by war. With Jesus, we can only agonize that we still continue to condone the futility of war.
  • With the other angels
    The phrase “A child doesn’t have to be biologically yours for you to love them like your own” fits our daughter-in-law perfectly.
  • Nix your bias

    Here is another modest suggestion from a reader: Discourage gender bias.

  • Formation needed
    Aside from RCIA, sacramental preparation, and an infrequent series of not particularly useful DVDs without a qualified instructor, there really isn’t any adult education answering adult questions about even basic church teachings.
  • Christmas love
    Many gifts were given and received over our long marriage, but this one, more than any other, says, “Christmas is love.”
  • From the Archives
    Because of blackout restrictions placed upon the city of Portland, His Excellency, Most Reverend Archbishop Howard, has instruct­ed the local pastors not to commence Mass in their respective churches either on Sunday or on weekdays before 8 o’clock.
  • Only 4 percent
    The actions of specific priests who abused children, as well as the priests and bishops who helped to cover up the problem and move these priests to other parishes, are corrupt, immoral, illegal, and a grave sin. But we must remember to hold the individual priests responsible for their actions, not the priesthood as a whole. 
  • St. Michael pride
    Archbishop Gross provided land for the building of a parish to take care of the needs of the Italian immigrants coming to the archdiocese at the end of the 19th century.
  • Threat is real
    The threat is real, not the object of a phobia.
  • Look at 19th-century anti-Catholic pamphlets. Swap the word “Muslim” for “Catholic” and “sharia” for “magisterium,” and you’ll have something that could have been written yesterday.
  • The Quran does not say what some think, but actually is a guide for good living. It shows reverence for Jesus and Mary. 
  • Teachings change
    That was changed at the time of the Second Vatican Council to: “The non-Christian may not be blamed for his ignorance of Christ and his Church."
  • Great community
    Because of strong deaf leadership and archdiocesan commitment Portland has long been one of the best places to be for persons who are deaf and Catholic.
  • Aunt Gen's fruitcake

    In her column last month, Heather Renshaw wrote this: "While this time of year is jam-packed with more nutty goodness than Auntie Gen’s famous fruitcake, Holy Mother Church, in her wisdom, encourages us to observe one day at a time by following the liturgical calendar."

    Well, we heard from Aunt Gen.

  • Holidays with intention
    When last we met on this website, I pontificated (er, shared) about approaching the holiday season with intention, using the church’s liturgical calendar for reference. Now that Advent has begun, how’s it going? Have you found the candles for your Advent wreath yet? Are all your days merry and bright? Well, be of good cheer and be not afraid: There are still plenty of ways to make this season count.
  • Combat loneliness
    A chain smoker in her mid-60s, our neighbor Marie is not someone you’d describe as chipper. When my family moved into our Portland home, I made her cookies. “I don’t eat sugar,” she told me, peering through her screen door and promptly snuffing out my self-satisfaction.
  •  Gifts to community and culture
    It’s only fair that leaders of our state and cities understand how broadly and deeply religious groups benefit society. Though the spiritual advantages are priceless, other contributions actually add up.
  • Many years ago as a young man born and raised in Baltimore, I spent a very different week getting a taste of life in Appalachia.

  • With charities, watch the cash and ignore the in-kind?
    The mean side of this trick is that it covers up what happens to cash donations. 
  • PHILADELPHIA — Americans have long been disturbed by the fraud and waste that often surrounds the federal government’s use of their tax dollars. They now have further reason to be up in arms because of the way those tax dollars support the practice of abortion, even though such support, technically speaking, remains illegal.
  • Recharging spiritual batteries in a difficult time
    As I do every year, I recently visited my ancestral homeland in New Mexico. I told one of my editors I needed to recharge my spiritual batteries. In these difficult times, it is easy to lose our balance and we need to regain our perspective, to assess once again what our faith is all about.
  • Path for reform goes through Rome
    It is not often when a meeting of all U.S. Catholic bishops is described as having a "consensus of anger." But that is how one bishop described their recent fall assembly in Baltimore. Judging from comments, there was a lot to be angry about.
  • Use your words

    Two groups ask me often what they can do to help their children grow in faith: parents of toddlers and parents of young adults.

  • Good and bad ideas on church reform
    These are good ideas. There are also bad ideas, coming from church factions seen as being on the "right" and "left" -- though partisan loyalties have no place in the body of Christ.
  • From the Archives

    The Sisters of Charity of the House of Providence respectfully tender their grateful acknowledgements to their many patrons and friends for the bountiful liberality which has been displayed at their late fair, held for the support of the orphan children.

  • I felt confused
    The church is already fighting evil in the sexual assaults and cover-up accounts, but the bigger fear should be of a schism due to the faithful taking sides rather than praying to the Holy Spirit for truth.
  • Bravo, El Centinela
    I am grateful to El Centinela for always shining a light on the challenges we face, responsive solutions, and ways in which our diverse community can come together in service and support of one another. 
  • Do you aspire?
    Do Catholic media aspire to an oversight role? Will it develop independent and informed sources? There has been a dearth of consequential, independent Catholic reporting. 
  • There are cracks in the current church policies on sex abuse of children.
  • We follow Jesus
    The recent broad emergence of scandal in the Catholic Church has undoubtedly caused many Catholics to evaluate their devotion to their faith. Rather than leave the church, however, perhaps it is God’s timing for us to reflect on what we can learn as Catholics, and how we can show solidarity to be better. 
  • As we approach the end of the liturgical year, it’s appropriate that the church designates the last Sunday as the Solemnity of Christ the King; for it calls to mind the last day of history, when Christ the King of the universe will come in all his glory to judge the living and the dead.
  • Complete picture
    How can we as a state claim rationality when we refuse to accept abstinence-only sex and think we are providing the complete sex-ed picture?
  • Thanksgiving is a chance to consider all the good in our lives. That begins with God’s constant love for us. God’s love is sure even when we are afflicted by loss and sorrow.
  • As a kid, I often wondered how long it would be until the weekend, or spring break, or when we ate dinner. My mom advised me to enjoy the present moment, because she said time would fly by at lightning speed when I was an adult.
  • God’s love is not political
    The love we are missing does not require personal agreement; its essence lies in basic respect and empathy for the human condition.

  • For human dignity
    Not long after these appallingly regular massacres, most of us forget and move on. Not so for the parents, children and friends, whose enduring and suffocating pain is a truer measure of these assaults against the dignity of life. The Second Amendment, penned in the flintlock era, can be honored while we use reason in the face of advanced gun technology.

  • We arrived at the ferry to Gozo with one minute to spare. After a series of mishaps, from being trapped in a parking garage to taking the wrong exit on one of Malta's many roundabouts, our hopes of making the 9 a.m. ferry were fading fast. When we pulled up to the dock, we were the last car allowed on the boat.
  • On not being a vegetable
    Of all the dilemmas classified under end-of-life issues, the most divisive even for Catholics has been the treatment of people diagnosed as being in a “vegetative state.”
  • From the Archives
    It would appear that the Catholic people of this area have an attitude toward these children which is less than Christian.
  • God forgive you for this disgusting display of vulgarity.
  • Buy fair trade
    When you buy fair trade products you know where they come from; and you can be sure that the people who produced them are paid a fair price for them.
  • Heroes, leaders

    The people detained are human beings fighting for their human dignity, needing our support. Those detained persons are the heroes and leaders.

  • All Souls Day: Come along, Jamesie
    Suppertime at the Flynn home was family time.  Rounding up her brood, Sarah would stand by the gate and call each by name. Reaching out her hand to her youngest, she would say, “Come along, Jamesie, it’s time to go home.”
  • There is a limit

    The United States can hardly be faulted for lack of generosity to the people of other countries and even to illegal immigrants. However, there is a limit. If we love our country and want to preserve our way of life for ourselves and our children, though, how is this immoral? 

  • Regarding “Catholics on both sides of Measure 105,” Oct. 19, Page 6: Some of the proponents for 105 seem to be presenting their views on the entire immigration issue and are not specific to what the measure actually proposes.
  • Catholics can vote for God's creation
    Many Catholics in the Portland area put their faith into action a few months ago by circulating the petition to put Measure 26-201, a social justice/climate action initiative, onto the ballot. Jesuit Father Craig Boly of St. Ignatius Parish endorsed the measure, and hundreds of Catholics signed the petition, along with thousands of other Portlanders. The measure made the ballot, and now we have the opportunity to put our faith into action again by voting for it.
  • Obey the laws
    Pope Leo XIII, the pope most cited for his social concern for workers, wrote an encyclical “The Origins of Civil Society” that declared Catholics must obey the laws of nations in which they live.
  • Misused taxes
    Last year we Oregonians funded 3,700 abortions with our taxes and Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill to increase our funding of abortion. Don’t miss this opportunity to block this misuse of our tax dollars.