Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

From Our Friend Austin Ruse of C-Fam at the U.N. :Homosexual Marriage Not a Right Says European Human Rights Court


By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. | June 16, 2016 
NEW YORK, June 17 (C-Fam) A unanimous decision of the European Court of Human Rights has once again said that homosexual marriage is not a human right under European law.

Almost one year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergfell v. Hodges case, which imposed homosexual marriage on the entire United States, the European Court opted with caution, declining to impose homosexual marriage on the 47 nations that make up the Council of Europe.

The Chapin and Charpentier v. France decision is the latest in a succession of cases out of Finland, Italy, Austria, and France, where the Court shut the door to a Europe-wide human right to homosexual marriage, but perhaps not completely.

The European Court opted for a de-centralized approach. The issue of homosexual marriage is “subject to the national laws of the Contracting States,” the Court said, once again stating that there was no “European consensus” to overrule the plain meaning of the European Convention on human rights.

Article 12 of the Convention, which pertains to the right to marry and found a family, “cannot be interpreted as imposing an obligation on governments of the Contracting States to grant homosexual couples access to marriage,” the Court said, because it only “sanctions the traditional concept of marriage, that is the result of the union of a man and a woman.”

As in past decisions, the Court was less categorical and less deferential to European nations in its interpretation of the right to privacy and family life in Article 8 of the Convention.

The Court recognized that “States are still free (…) to restrict access to marriage to different-sex couples,” but it also reiterated that they must allow some form of “civil union” for homosexuals.
While it again recognized the margin of appreciation of states in designing homosexual civil union regimes, it alluded to the possibility that some countries might “go beyond its margin of appreciation in the choice of rights and obligations it established through civil unions.”

The Court let it be known that it would have been willing to flesh out what protections are required by article 8 for homosexual civil unions if any “indication” had been present that French civil union laws were not adequate.

This dictum leaves the door open to the creation of a de facto right to homosexual marriage through a European right to civil unions.

Even so, the ruling comes as a disappointment to homosexual activists, who have brought homosexual marriage cases to the European Court in recent years in the hope that the Court might overturn itself. This time round, after the Irish referendum last May, and on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last June, the unanimous ruling against a European right to homosexual marriage appeared like a particularly harsh denial, and a discouraging one.

The U.S. and European courts on occasion, and especially in decisions involving contentious issues involving homosexual relations, have tended to march in lockstep.

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ sodomy statute in the case of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, Justice Kennedy cited, among other sources of law, a decision of the European Court. But the European Court did not reciprocate the favor this time round, and declined to follow the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Loretto sisters summoned to Rome, raising questions on closure of apostolic visitation.

VOCAL: In 2008 we had and Apostolic Visitation by Mother Clare explained in this older post. Lent 2009 - Goodbye Father Cihak/Hello Mother Clare/40 Days of Prayer for Life and ACTION. 

You might notice the name Sr. Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministries who lead astray Catholics in the homosexual lifestyle.  In 2010, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), stated that the New Ways Ministry for homosexual Catholics does not present an authentic view of Catholic teaching. Rather, it confuses the faithful about the Church’s efforts to defend traditional marriage and to minister to homosexual persons.  

These Sisters of Loretto tend to spred falsehood and confusion. Oregon has confused women who consider themselves "woman-priests".  We have an Order of Sisters that are not approved by the Vatican.  We have a lot of work to do.  Come Holy Spirit.  Have Mercy.

Loretto sisters summoned to Rome, raising questions on closure of apostolic visitation.

 The Vatican's congregation for religious life has summoned to Rome the superior of one of the major orders of U.S. Catholic sisters, asking her to "report on some areas of concern" following the controversial six-year investigation of the country's communities of women religious.

The head of the Sisters of Loretto, a Kentucky-based community founded in the early 19th century to educate pioneer children but now known for strong stands on social justice issues, has been asked to explain alleged "ambiguity" in the order's adherence to church teaching and its way of living religious life.

While the summons from the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is directed specifically at the Sisters of Loretto, it may raise questions for other U.S. women religious communities of apostolic life, who were subject to an unprecedented Vatican inquiry, known as an apostolic visitation, starting in 2008.

Although the congregation formally closed that visitation in December 2014 with the release of a report on the state of religious life in the U.S., it has in at least this instance used material gathered in the investigation to inquire into the life of the order.

Loretto President Sr. Pearl McGivney announced her summoning to Rome in a short June 1 letter to her order's members. In her letter, a copy of which was obtained by GSR, McGivney says she has been asked to visit the Vatican Oct. 18 to report on five so-called "areas of concern."

Among the areas McGivney identifies, quoting from the Vatican congregation's original letter:

• "Your way of promoting the spiritual and community life of the congregation, in light of the Church's definition of apostolic religious life;

• "A certain ambiguity regarding the congregation's adherence to some areas of Church doctrine and morality;

• "Your Congregation's policy regarding members of the community who are known to hold positions of dissent from the Church's moral teaching or approved liturgical practice."

In a statement to GSR Thursday, McGivney said her community "engaged wholeheartedly in the Apostolic Visitation process, and through it, affirmed our Loretto charism and our lives together."

McGivney said her order was one of about 90 nationwide that were personally visited in 2010 as part of the investigation and that during that visit, four members of other congregations interviewed about 90 Loretto sisters.

"The visitors seemed warm and genuinely interested in our lives," stated the president. "They did not inquire about these 'areas of concern' with our elected leadership during this visitation, and we had no expectation that six years later we would find ourselves being asked to come to Rome to address any outstanding issues."

Yet, McGivney added: "We are glad to accept this opportunity for conversation."

"Loretto's constitutions express the manner in which the mission of Loretto is incorporated into the universal mission of the church," she continued. "As our constitutions state, 'Their approval by the Holy See unites the Loretto congregation and its individual members in responsible fidelity to papal authority.'"

"We are confident that our dialogue with the Vatican will be fruitful and bear this out," she stated.
It is unclear from McGivney's letter to her order what information the Vatican congregation may have received to trigger the follow up on the visitation. McGivney does not mention specific allegations against individual members of the order nor cite specific concerns about its way of life.

One of the order's members has however drawn the Vatican's interest several times in the past.
Sr. Jeannine Gramick  who was a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame before joining the Loretto community in 2001  was first criticized by the Vatican's religious congregation in 1984 for cofounding New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that advocates for LGBT Catholics.
New Ways Ministry
In 1999, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a public notification about Gramick's work.

According to McGivney's letter, the religious congregation did cite two specific concerns about the Loretto order's organization structure: its system of allowing laypeople to join the community as "co-members" and a recent revision of some of the articles of incorporation of the order's diverse institutions.

The congregation, according to the letter, raised a concern about "the identity and role of co-members, assuring the distinction between vowed religious life and laity, in particular but not limited to the participation of the co-members in governance structures and decision-making."

Like many U.S. religious orders, the Sisters of Loretto have sought to incorporate laypeople more deeply into their work as the community has experienced a drop in vowed membership following an historically anomalous period of high membership in the early 20th century.

The Sisters of Loretto's website describes their co-members as "women and men of many faith traditions who live the spirit and mission of Loretto through individual mutual commitment."

While the co-members do not take final vows like women religious, they "commit themselves to participation in the life and work of the Loretto Community and share their time, talent and treasure in support of Loretto and its mission."

McGivney says that the order's executive committee, a group of five elected leaders including herself, met at the end of May to discuss her summons and "discern next steps." The president says the order will arrange for regional meetings in coming months to discuss the matter and undertake communal discernment.

In her statement to GSR, the president said the letter from the religious congregation was dated Jan. 1 and signed by the congregation's prefect, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz. McGivney said she received the letter on April 15.

The wider apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious was launched by the Vatican's religious congregation in 2008 under the approval of Pope Benedict XVI. Likely the largest such investigation in church history, it involved inquiry into 341 female religious institutes in the U.S. that include some 50,000 women.

The visitation included a process of written questioning of religious superiors along with on-site visits. The inquiry was one of two investigations of U.S. women religious launched by different Vatican offices in recent years.

The other investigation was a doctrinal assessment of an umbrella group of the elected leaders of U.S. sisters known as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which was led by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That investigation was concluded in April 2015.
The Sisters of Loretto were founded by three women in 1812 as the Friends of Mary at the Foot of the Cross. They currently have communities in more than 30 U.S. states and several other countries, with their newest mission being founded in Pakistan in 2009.

They also maintain a non-governmental organization, the Loretto Community, which has consultative status with the United Nations in New York.

The order's website describes the landmark 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, widely known as Vatican II, as influencing the community's sense of its mission.

"Through the teachings and insights of Vatican II, we gained a new understanding of our vocation," it states. "Just as frontier living shaped the lives of our early sisters, so a global society shapes ours."
"Like our early sisters who called themselves Friends of Mary, we too stand at the Foot of the Cross as we strive to bring the healing spirit of God into our world and commit ourselves to improving the conditions of those who suffer from injustice, oppression, and deprivation of dignity," it continues.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

FYI: A Pro-Life Friend to the North. Another Oregon Right to Life Success

It is amazing how Jesus Christ has worked in the life of  Esther Hurni-Ripplinger.  Esther's trust in the Lord and her strong convictions as she is living out her Catholic faith will do Washington proud and save many souls.


Dan and I are delighted to introduce Esther Hurni-Ripplinger to be designated as Executive Director of Human Life of Washington effective August 1, 2016.

Esther has the broad skill-set required for this position, legislative, media, and business acumen. She also has extensive pro-life experience including five years at Oregon Right to Life, between 2002-2007.
Hurni-Ripplinger recently served two legislative sessions as support staff for pro-life champion, Senator Mike Padden, Chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee in Olympia.

As Session Aide, Esther Hurni-Ripplinger seamlessly coordinated several special projects. In addition, for one election cycle she performed a short-term contract for the Family Policy Institute of Washington.

In the interim, she maintained several clients as an independent business development consultant. Esther not only drew from her experience as a lighting store owner with her husband, and previously as a manufacturer’s representative, but also from her Master’s degree in Business Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing.

Before a move to the Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation, Ripplinger assisted the political director at Oregon Right to Life. She coordinated numerous events, including a workshop to prepare candidates for how to respond to the media regarding the life issue.
In her free time, she perceived the need for a pro-life broadcast, and responded by getting certified to produce and host a syndicated pro-life talk show, which featured interviews with expert guests. Specials included a live-studio audience with a gubernatorial candidate, entirely in Spanish and a teen-led edition. (She is fluent in both Spanish and French, and is now learning German.) It ran weekly for four years under her direction, and another six under her successor.

Ripplinger launched an unprecedented effort in Oregon to gather women who sought healing from the trauma of their abortions.  Many of whom felt called to share their testimonies, which organically formed a speaker’s bureau. Ripplinger coordinated speaking tours to state affiliates of Oregon Right to Life, and developed the church liaison project, which increased mobilization.
 She was a frequent presenter at National Right to Life conventions, and represented Oregon for its American Victims of Abortion (AVA) division. She collaborated with a mental health care professional and team, for the development of an ecumenical program to equip pastors to confidently address the life issue.

Esther knows first-hand the trauma of abortion and the difficult road to post-abortion healing. Her personal testimony of the trauma of abortion is on record in Oregon’s House Judiciary Committee advocating a Women’s Right to Know bill, and it is also included in an Amicus Brief in a winning case at the U.S. Supreme Court. 
She also has fought to protect the end-of-life. Both she and her son had been pressured by the medical community to “pull the plug” on her severely ill husband, who has since recovered. Her personal testimony involving end-of-life matters was featured on the Life Talk NW program, on Sacred Heart Radio heard throughout Washington State.
“It is a profound honor to represent those who cannot speak for themselves, to continue the good work of Human Life of Washington, and to work with those across this great state who are working hard to build a culture of life. I would be remiss without mentioning my personal experience with the trauma of abortion for which I found healing. Additionally,  I defied medical suggestions to "pull the plug" on my severely ill husband who has now recovered. As a cancer survivor too, my intimate grasp of "patient care" in the midst of a culture of death compels me to advocate for LIFE, our first right. I ask for your help and look forward to working with all people of goodwill for the dignity and care everyone deserves” said Ripplinger.

For those who would like to welcome Esther, you can email her at

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 New Archdpdx Priest Assignments Announced

Fr. Don Gutmann
Fr. Don Gutman

Fr. Mike Walker
Fr. Mike Walker

The Archbishop is pleased to announce following assignments:


Fr. Don Gutmann 

New Assignment: Pastor, St. Clare-Portland

Previous Assignment: Pastor, St. Peter-Newberg

Fr. Don Gutmann was born on April 10, 1958 in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 1991 by Cardinal Levada. Fr. Gutmann studied at Catholic University Theological College, Washington, D.C. and Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. He first served as a Parochial Vicar for St. Joseph the Worker, Portland. Following this assignment, he served as a Parochial Vicar for Our Lady of the Lake, Lake Oswego and then at St. Mary, Corvallis. Fr. Gutmann was then assigned to St. Mary, Our Lady of the Dunes, Florence as Pastor. He served at St. John the Apostle, Reedsport as Administrator and the most recently at St. Peter, Newberg as Pastor.

Fr. Mike Walker 

New Assignment Pastor, St. James-McMinnville; Good Shepherd-Sheridan; and St. Michael-Grand Ronde

Previous Assignment: Pastor, Shepherd of the Valley-Central Point

Fr. Mike Walker was  born April 26, 1966 in Anaheim, CA. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 1999 by Archbishop Vlazny. His first assignment was at St. Mary, Corvallis as Parochial Vicar. He was then assigned to St. Monica, Coos Bay as Pastor. Fr. Walker most recently served at Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point and Our Lady of Fatima, Shady Cove as Pastor.

Fr. Chuck Wood

New Assignment: Pastor, St. Wenceslaus-Scappoose

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of the Lake-Lake Oswego

Fr. Chuck Wood was born on June 15, 1960 in Washington, D.C. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict and then went on to study at Notre Dame to receive his Master’s degree. Fr. Wood was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2000 by Archbishop Vlazny. His first assignment was at Sacred Heart, Portland as a Parochial Vicar. He also served at St. Henry, Gresham as a Parochial Vicar. Fr. Wood then served at St. Clare Parish as Pastor. Fr. Wood is a member of the Brotherhood of the People of Praise; part of a lay ecumenical community whose members share community and life resources. His most recent assignment was Our Lady of the Lake, Lake Oswego as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. David Jaspers 

New Assignment: Pastor, Ascension-Portland

Previous Assignment: Pastor, St. Alice-Springfield

Fr. David Jaspers was born on April 5, 1977 in Forks, Washington. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2009 by Archbishop Vlazny. His first assignment was at St. Joseph, Salem as Parochial Vicar. Fr. Jaspers has most recently served at St. Alice, Springfield as Pastor.


Fr. Elwin Schwab

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Charles – Portland

Previous Assignment: Moderator, St. Charles-Portland

Fr. Charles Schwab was born on July 31, 1934 in Portland, Oregon. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 1960 by Archbishop Howard. He studied at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Edward and St. Thomas Seminaries in Kenmore, Washington His assignments include:
Associate Pastor for: Holy Cross, Portland, St. Mary, Eugene and St. Monica Coos Bay
Coordinator of Adult Education: Archdiocese of Portland
In Residence: Marylhurst Provincial House, Marylhurst and Blessed Sacrament, Portland
Pastor: Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, St. Frederic, St. Helens, and St. Anthony, Forest Grove.
Moderator: St. Mary, Vernonia
His most recent assignment was at St. Charles, Portland as Moderator.

Fr. Ben Innes, OFM 

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Mary, Star of the Sea-Astoria

Previous Assignment: Temporary Administrator, St. Mary, Star of the Sea-Astoria

Fr. Ben Innes, OFM was born on September 14, 1953 in Beloit Wisconsin. He was ordained for the Franciscan community in the St. Barbara Province in 1984. He previously worked as a director of a retreat center in Oceanside, California. Fr. Innes came to the Archdiocese of Portland in 2006 to work at St. Mary, Shaw. He served from 2009 to 2014 as pastor at Ascension, Portland. Fr. Innes has most recently served as Temporary Administrator for St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Astoria.

Fr. Joseph Barita, ALCP

New assignment: Administrator, Our Lady of Victory – Seaside, St. Peter the Fisherman- Arch Cape.

Previous Assignment in the Archdiocese: Pastor, St. Frederic – St. Helens (7/1/2010 to 6/30/2014)

Fr. Joseph Barita, ALCP was born on April 7, 1957 in Moshi, Tanzania. He was ordained for the Apostolic Life Community of Priests Holy Spirit Fathers in Moshi, Tanzania in 1988. He was first assigned in the Archdiocese of Portland as parochial vicar at St. Pius X in 2004. The following year he was assigned pastor of St. Birgitta in Portland and from 2010 until 2014 he served as pastor at St. Frederic in St. Helens. He returned to his home of Moshi, Tanzania in 2014 and will be back to the Archdiocese of Portland to start his assignment at Our Lady of Victory in Seaside, and the mission parish St. Peter the Fisherman in Arch Cape.

Fr. Nazario Atukunda 

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Philip Neri – Portland

Previous Assisnment: St. Joseph, Salem as Parochial Vicar

Fr. Nazario Atukunda was born on July 27, 1967 in Kabale, Uganda. He was ordained for the Kabale Diocese in 1998 by Rt. Rev. Gay. Fr. Atukunda studied at St. Paul Seminary Kinyamasika, Uganda. Prior to his time at the Archdiocese of Portland, Fr. Atukunda served as the rector of St. Paul Seminary, Uganda and as a Judge for the Inter-Diocesan Tribunal, Kasese. He has a Canon Law degree from the Urban University, Rome. Fr. Atukunda came to the Archdiocese of Portland in 2014 with his first and most recent assignment at St. Joseph in Salem. He also serves in the Tribunal Office for the Archdiocese of Portland.

Fr. Ben Tapia Ortiz 

New Assignment: Administrator, Shepherd of the Valley-Central Point, Our Lady of Fatima -Shady Cove

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Henry-Gresham

Fr. Ben Tapia Ortiz was born May 8, 1982 in Baja California, Mexico. He completed his studies at St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2012 by Archbishop Vlazny. Fr. Tapia has served has a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart, Medford, St. Alexander, Cornelius, and St. Edward, North Plains. His most recent assignment was St. Henry, Gresham as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Mark Bentz

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Alice – Springfield

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Cecilia-Beaverton

Fr. Mark Bentz was born on September 1, 1985 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He studied at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. Fr. Bentz was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2013 by Archbishop Sample. He went on to study at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Following that, he studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome. Fr. Bentz served at St. Pius X, Portland as Parochial Vicar. His most recent assignment was at St. Cecilia, Beaverton as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Chrispine Otieno 

New Assignment: Administrator, Sacred Heart-St. Louis-Gervais

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart-St. Louis-Gervais

Fr. Chrispine Otieno was born on September 5, 1982 in Siaya County, Kenya. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2013 by Archbishop Sample. Fr. Otieno studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. His first assignment was at St. Mary, Eugene as Parochial Vicar. He was most recently assigned to Sacred Heart-St. Louis, Gervais as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Francisco Bringuela

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Patrick – Independence

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar: St. Pius X, Portland

Fr. Francisco Bringuela was born on April 4, 1983 in Irosin Sorsogon, Philippines. He studied at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2014 by Archbishop Sample. His first and most recent assignment was at St. Pius X as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Moises Leal Gonzalez 

New Assignment: Administrator, St. John-Yamhill, San Martin-Dayton

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Ascension-Portland

Fr. Moises Leal Gonzalez was born on August 12, 1973 in San Agustin Jalisco, Mexico. He studied at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2014 by Archbishop Sample. Fr. Gonzalez also work at St. Adalbert and San Rafael Archangel parishes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Fr. Gonzalez’s first assignment and most recent assignment was at Ascension, Portland as Parochial Vicar

Fr. Basil Lawrence, OSB

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Paul-Silverton

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Paul-Silverton

Fr. Basil Lawrence, OSB was born on October 26, 1983 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was ordained for the Benedictine community at Mt. Angel Abbey on June 14, 2014 by Archbishop Alexander Sample. Following his ordination Fr. Lawrence lived in residence and assisted at St. Paul, Silverton from June 2015 until he was appointed parochial vicar there in January 2016.

Fr. Martin Tavares 

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Peter-Newberg

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart, Medford
Fr. Martin Tavares was born on May 19, 1967 in Arandas Jalisco, Mexico. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2014 by Archbishop Sample. Fr. Tavares studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. His first and most recent assignment was Sacred Heart, Medford as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Manuel Becerra 

New Assignment: Administrator, St. Michael-Sandy, St. Aloysius-Estacada

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Anthony-Tigard

Fr. Manuel Becerra was born on December 10, 1977 in Cucuta, Norte de Santander, Colombia. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2015 by Archbishop Sample. Fr. Becerra studied at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park. His first and most recent assignment was St. Anthony, Tigard as Parochial Vicar


Fr. Henry Guillen-Vega 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Henry-Gresham

Previous Assignment: Administrator, St. Patrick-Independence

Fr. Henry Guillen-Vega was born on December 28, 1977 in Masaya, Nicaragua. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2010 by Archbishop Vlazny. His first assignment was at Sacred Heart, Medford as Parochial Vicar. He also served at St. Joseph, Salem, Our Lady of Lourdes, Scio and Immaculate Conception, Stayton as Parochial Vicar. Fr. Guillen-Vega’s most recent assignment was at St. Patrick, Independence as Administrator.

Fr. John Arcidiacono

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Conception, Stayton

Previous Assignment: Transfer from outside of the Archdiocese of Portland

Fr. John Arcidiacono was born August 23, 1976 in Ellensburg, Washington. He was ordained a priest for the Congregation of St. John in 2012. He completed two years of studies at Mt. Angel Seminary before completing his seminary studies at The Congregation of St. John, Private Institute of Philosophy and Theology. Since his priestly ordination Fr. Arcidiacono completed his MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary online program. He is currently an Assistant Chaplain at his local Catholic High School and also serves as a youth retreat coordinator for Congregation of St. John. His first assignment will be at Immaculate Conception, Stayton as a Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Joseph Hung Nguyen 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Ascension-Portland

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Anne-Grants Pass

Fr. Joseph Hung Nguyen was born on August 12, 1973 in Saigon, Vietnam. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2012 by Archbishop Vlazny. Prior to his seminary studies, Fr. Nguyen received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Fr. Nguyen studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. His first assignment was at St. Cecilia, Beaverton as Parochial Vicar. Fr. Nguyen’s most recent assignment was St. Anne, Grants Pass as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Moises Kumulmac 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart-Medford

Previous Assignment: Administrator, St. John, Yamhill and San Martin de Porres, Dayton (mission)

Fr. Moises Kumulmac was born on November 25, 1978 in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2012 by Archbishop Vlazny. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict. Fr. Kumulmac has served at St. Alexander, Cornelius and St. Edward, North Plains as Parochial Vicar. He served at St. John, Yamhill Parish and San Martin de Porres, Dayton Mission as Administrator

Fr. Peter Nhat Hoang 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph-Salem

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception-Portland

Fr. Peter Nhat Hoang was born on October 17, 1994 in Saigon, Vietnam. He began his studies as Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict and then transferred to St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park to complete his studies. Fr. Hoang was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2013 by Archbishop Sample. He studied at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park. His first assignment was at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland.

Fr. Julio Cesar Torres Montejo

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. James-McMinnville

Previous Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Anthony, Tigard

Fr. Julio Cesar Torres Montejo was born in Cardenas, Tabasco, Mexico and ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2014 by Archbishop Sample. He began his studies at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park and then transferred to Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corner, Wisconsin. Fr. Montejo’s first assignment St. Joseph, Salem as Parochial Vicar. His most recent assignment was St. Anthony, Tigard as Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Gregg Bronsema 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of the Lake-Lake Oswego

Previous Assignment: Studying in Rome

Fr. Gregg Bronsema was born on November 11, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. Fr. Bronsema received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He went on to study at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2015 by Archbishop Sample. Fr. Bronsema returned to Rome following his ordination to complete his studies.

Fr. Timothy Furlow 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception-Portland

Previous Assignment: Studying in Rome

Fr. Timothy Furlow was born on December 27, 1982 in Portland, Oregon. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2015 by Archbishop Sample. Prior to his time in the seminary, Fr. Furlow moved to Azerbaijan to teach English. He began his studies at Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict and then transferred to the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Fr. Furlow has been finishing his studies for the last year in Rome

Fr. Anthony Ahamefule 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Cecilia-Beaverton

Previous Assignment: Seminarian

Fr. Anthony Ahamefule was born August 23, 1984 in Kano State, Nigeria. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2016 by Archbishop Sample. He completed his studies at Mt. Angel Seminary. Fr. Ahamefule’s first assignment will be at St. Cecilia, Beaverton as a Parochial Vicar

Fr. Arjie Garcia 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Anthony-Tigard

Previous Assignment: Seminarian

Fr. Arjie Garcia was born May 14, 1985 in Tuburan, Cebu, Philippines. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2016 by Archbishop Sample. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary. Fr. Garcia’s first assignment will be at St. Anthony, Tigard as a Parochial Vicar.

Fr. Tetzel Umingli 

New Assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Anne-Grants Pass

Previous Assignment: Seminarian

Fr. Tetzel Umingli was born January 12, 1988 in Lagawe, Ifugao, Philippines. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2016 by Archbishop Sample. He completed his studies at Mt. Angel Seminary. Fr. Umingli’s first assignment will be at St. Anne, Grants Pass as a Parochial Vicar.

From the Catholic Sentinel

One or more additional assignments are forthcoming and will be shared as soon as they are finalized. The Archbishop wishes to express his profound gratitude to all priests in their pastoral ministries and he prays for everyone during this time of transition.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Expose from a Reader : The Just Faith program is not Catholic

Occasionally I get queries about different parish programs and whether or not they are "safe" for parish use. Case in point is the JustFaith program, put on by Just Faith Ministries. Just Faith was founded in 1989 by a fellow by the name of Jack Jezreel, which is an interesting name from a Biblical standpoint; the Valley of Jezreel was where King Jehu had the apostate Queen Jezebel slain (2 Kings 9:1-10); it is also the location of the Battle of Armageddon at the end of time. But I digress. The program's website states:
JustFaith Ministries provides programs that transform people and expand their commitment to social ministry. Through these life-changing opportunities, members of a church or parish can study, explore and experience Christ’s call to care for the poor and vulnerable in a lively, challenging, multifaceted process in the context of a small faith community.
Have any of you come across the JustFaith program in your parishes or dioceses? Here is a run down of the program and some of its problems from Phyllis Sower. Mrs. Sower has practiced law for 33 years, now part-time, in Franklin County, KY. She is the co-founder and principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy/Corpus Christi High School in Simpsonville, KY. and recently exposed the JustFaith program for the Los Pequenos Pepper publication in the Diocese of Santa Fe. So, is the JustFaith program Catholic? The following is from her article:
"I had already heard a little about the JustFaith program and some concerns regarding it just prior to the time that two members of our parish came to me to share their concerns. One of them had enrolled in the course and brought to me the full set of materials she purchased for the course requesting that I review it. I submit herein the results of my review in a spirit of fraternal correction and concern and to assist pastors and lay persons who lack time to read all the materials; a close examination of the program by the competent ecclesiastical authority is warranted to determine the advisability of its continued use.

In short, the program is a product of liberation theology and promotes the ordination of women, recognition of homosexual marriage, the feminization of God, extreme pacifism and environmentalism, using non-Catholic and Catholic dissenters to present “Catholic Social Teaching.” The JustFaith program is a partnership effort of Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services. It is billed as a ministry of the Church, “an invitation to a rich spiritual journey into compassion,” to “look more closely at the troubling issues of our times through the lens of compassion and Catholic social teaching.” According to page two of the Notes to participants, week 2, the program sets out to teach the "rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching." However, there is little reference to the encyclicals, Catechism, conciliar documents or the Summa Theologica where the Church’s authentic social teaching is to be found. (Nota Bene: one of my sons is taking a course on Catholic Social Teaching at a Catholic University; the curriculum consists of: Rerum Novarum, Mater et Magistra, Quadragessimo Anno, Pacem in Terris, Gaudium et Spes, Popularum Progressio, Octogessima Adviens, Laborens Exercens, Sollicidudo Rei Socialis, Finitessimus Annus, section 10 of the 5th Lateran Council, and sections of the Summa on Justice and Cheating/Usury).

The very opening sessions of the JustFaith program are problematic. For example, in week 2, the opening prayer invokes 21 “witnesses of hope,” including Mohandes Gandhi–“great soul of peace,” Flannery O’Connor (note: from my acquaintance with the life and writings of this great American writer, I submit that she would strenuously object to JustFaith and being prayed to for she was a devout Catholic), Thomas Merton (much of his later work was heterodox), Martin Luther King, Jr., Joseph Bernardin, Albert Schweitzer, concluding with, “All you holy men and women, salt and light for our world, Pray for us.”Attachment B of the same week lists discussion and dialogue goals, including the search for the best “view,” incorporate varied perspectives, etc. There is no reference to seeking, teaching, or understanding the truth as taught by the Church. As Pope Benedict has reiterated, “real education is not possible without the light of truth.”

There are 4 books in the program: Cloud of Witnesses by Wallis and Hollyday, Compassion by Nouwen, et al, The Challenge and Spirituality of Catholic Teaching, by Mich, and Amazing Grace by Kozol. None of them has a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur despite the pretensions of this course to present the “rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.” An examination of the content of the texts reveals significant reasons there is not and should not be an official stamp of the Church’s stamp of approval on any of these books or the program.

The Cloud of Witnesses book is most revealing of the agenda of this program and of content contrary to the authentic social teaching of the Catholic Church. It is clearly stated that, “The articles and interviews in this book have been adapted from material originally published in Sojourners magazine.” The author, Jim Wallis, was founder and executive director of Sojourners. He has written in favor of gay “marriage.” The author, Joyce Hollyday, is a minister in the United Church of Christ. Sojourners is described as non-denominational according to its website, but includes left wing Catholic peace activists and dissenters, a Masonic veterans group, favors gay/lesbian partnerships, has a policy statement in favor of recognition and legal protection for the same, including gay “marriage,” and favors ordination of women, claiming five female ordinations and female bishops. This background should constitute sufficient cause to question inclusion of the book as a source of authentic Catholic Social teaching.

In addition, out of 35 articles, only 11 appear to be about known Catholics. I say “known” because the faith of some was not identifiable. For certain, most were not Catholic at all and included a Living Waters pastor, Georgia minister, Episcopal minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sojourner Truth, a Presbyterian pastor, a Quaker, three Baptists, one now non-denominational former Methodist then Presbyterian, a Dutch Reformed preacher and a number of others not Catholic but whose denomination was not mentioned. Among the persons featured were a draft-dodger, proponent of the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church, one pastor and his wife imprisoned for non-payment of taxes, one whose “consciousness” came from liberation theology and another who said the truth was not the captive of any enterprise or religion.

Among the Catholics featured in the book were many known dissenters such as Father Daniel Berrigan, Sr. Joan Chittister, Father Pedro Arrupe and others who criticize the Church rather than advance her authentic teachings. Some examples will suffice:
  • Joan Chitttister’s unabashed advancement of the ordination of women is championed. She said, “There’s either something wrong with the present theology of ministry, or there is something wrong with the present theology of all the sacraments. If women qualify for baptism, confirmation, salvation, and redemption, how can they be denied the sacrament of ministry?” Her arguments that women are ignored in church language and for the feminization of God are given ample play in the text.
  • Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe openly rejected Humanae Vitae and his “restructuring” of the Jesuits did much harm to the Order; the circumstances of his removal are unclear to me, but Pope John Paul II passed over Arrupe’s designated successor for another.
  • Father Miguel D’Escoto is not permitted to celebrate the Eucharist in public or private.

  • Father Elias Chacour, a Catholic priest and pacifist in Israel, attacked the wealth of the Church and described his despair of the institutional Church and its hierarchy.
  • Archbishop Dom Camara, who certainly sacrificed for the poor of his native Brazil, was a devotee of Gandhi and criticized the Church for its programs and priorities; at the closing session of Vatican II, he proposed that all the bishops surrender their crosses of precious metals for meltdown and distribution of the proceeds to the poor.

  • Father George Zabelka is an extreme pacifist who accuses Christianity of seventeen hundred years of terror and slaughter.
  • Journalist Penny Lernoux had distanced herself from the Church but returned in the “awakening” of Vatican II, which she described as “set to turn the Church on its head,” while she was herself under the inspiration of liberation theology.

The magisterial authority of the Church was not recognized in this book. There was a nice article on St. Francis of Assisi, who was called the “greatest saint.” This book would be perfectly suited to a study of liberation theology, which, of course, has been soundly refuted by the Church beginning with Divini Redemptoris. Pope Pius XI stated that the Church could not cooperate with Marxists. Liberation theology would divert the Church from her mission of salvation to one of social welfare agency.

One of the authors of Compassion was Henri Nouwen, who was described in Cloud of Witnesses as a Dutch priest and contributing editor to Sojourners. His funeral Mass was described in the book as a “carnival atmosphere” where actors and actresses “breathed life into the gospel reading.” In the Preface, the tone of the book is set with a quote from theologian, Gail O’Day, “Just as it is false to the richness of the Christian tradition to use father language as generic language for God, it ....” This book does more to diminish than to advance the true faith, for example:

  • The authors assert that the Gospels support reference to the “womb” of God (pp. 14-16).

  • They say we should see compassion not in moralistic terms (emphasis added; the implication is that we should disregard sin, p. 28).

  • They wrote that choosing to suffer as “an obedient response to our loving God” is, for Christians, a “false belief that in so doing they were following the way of Jesus Christ.”

  • The section on the breaking of bread omits all reference to sacrifice and the Holy Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, the real presence; the sole emphasis is on community and eating bread and drinking wine as a memorial, where we become intimately connected “to the compassionate life of Christ.” (p. 111).

  • Our “bread connections” are a “call to action.” He writes that when people eat bread and drink wine in his (Christ’s) memory, "smiles appear on strained faces" (p. 132).

The Mich book has some good quotes, including some references to encyclicals and Saints, but they are interlaced with error. For example, St. Boniface’s challenge to the god Thor inspired conversions but led to the unintended consequence of “diminished awe for the sacredness of nature.” (p. 34). We are instructed that every creature, animate and inanimate, can be a “sacrament.” Life issues are discussed with no reference to the evil of contraception.

We are told that there was an early Catholic attitude, still present, that saw humans as the apex of creation and this too often led to exploitation of nature (p. 41). Quoting Sister Elizabeth Johnson, the author explains that “previous theologies would have human beings with their rational souls as superior to the natural world.” Such a ranking, he writes, easily “gives rise to arrogance, one root of the present ecological crisis.” We are told that we need ‘species humility’ (p. 43). I read this and wondered whatever happened to Genesis: man is made in the image and likeness of God and has dominion?

On pages 43-44, we read that we must “reimagine our place in creation” with these questions, each of which is directly or by implication in conflict with the truth:

  • How to preach salvation as healing and rescue for the whole world rather than as solely an individual relationship with God?

  • How to let go of contempt for matter, contempt for the body and sexuality, and how to revalue themas good and blessed?

  • How to interpret human beings as primarily “earthlings” rather than as pilgrims or tourists whose real home is elsewhere?

  • How to recognize the sacraments as symbols of divine graciousness in a universe that is itself a sacrament?

  • What kinds of new spiritualities will emerge as we become creation-centered?
The author references Familiaris Consortio, then trashes it and exposes his real agenda:
"Today, Catholic theology and spirituality does not view the love of another human being as distracting from our love of God. In fact, love of a spouse and child is viewed as participation in divine love. Sexuality is viewed in more positive terms as a gift of God to be enjoyed and celebrated within committed love and not only tolerated for the sake of procreation. These positive themes provide the starting points for a reinterpretation of marriage and family within the Catholic tradition. This revisioning is only in beginning stages. Catholicism and other Christian denominations are still working on understanding the role of women in the church and society and the meaning of committed homosexual relationships." (p. 81, emphasis added)

No sugar coating can cover the bitter taste of this poisonous error!

The Kozol book contains wrenching stories from the author’s experiences in South Bronx, significantly centered around St. Ann’s Episcopal Church with its pastor, Rev. Martha Overall, who “confesses” the children. What this book contributes to an understanding of Catholic Social Teaching is a mystery. The book is interesting private reading, although the heralding of it by Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund would have otherwise steered me clear of it.

Interestingly, both of the parishioners who brought to my attention that Just Faith was in progress at our church are converts. They are actively engaged in learning the Catholic Faith. One said to me, “Something about this (Just Faith) material is really bothering me. I don’t know why, but I am disturbed and irritated when reading it.” She wants to deepen her understanding of the true Faith; most of this material does just the opposite, leads away from it. The disturbance of the spirit is easily understandable.

We possess the truth in all its beauty, richness and wonder; we possess the authentic Magisterium. Why not use it? As the Holy Father has reminded us, real education is grounded in truth."

Click here for another great article on the danger's of Just Faith from the Restore DC Catholicism blog, which has already amply documented the issue.

Click here for a follow-up article on the Marxist tendencies of JustFaith.


Lee said...
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this concise work. I have also had a negative gut reaction to JF ever since it was first introduced to our parish. There are a couple of us who have written to our pastor and asked him to review the program. Recently, the new recruiting efforts for JF were cancelled. Praise God!

We must always be on guard with programs such as these. I also read their guide to a teen lesson on the part it has the teens standing in a circle around the trappings of materialism, and while they bless themselves silently, the leader is to say aloud - "in the name of the one above us, the one below us and the one around us"


Thank you again - I pray more people will come to know this wolf in sheep's clothing and that this program will be denied access to our parishes.

Another convert -
Justin said...
At the local Novus Ordo parish here in Gainesville, Fl they use "Why Catholic" which is a RENEW program. They also used Cardinal Mahony's "We Gather Together Faithfully" to explain the Mass and the Eucharist and one of the guys running for parish council president said of Mahony "I sure hope he sticks around he is a really good catechist." When I told the group and the leaders of it that "Why Catholic" does not teach the Catholic Faith at all they sort of just stared at me dumbfounded.

It would seem that this sort of thing is everywhere today. There is a total revolution still going on in the Catholic Church and almost zero leadership on any level that is trying to stop it. Those of us who have learned the Faith in spite of the rotten catechesis are proof that grace is real. Thanks for showing this program for what it is.
Anonymous said...
Ok Boniface don't do too many things at once.
If I were you I would keep my blog and not play by ruining it all because you might have too much on your plate.
Your knowledge of the Church and its history is greatly value as a blog, just like it is now.

I would caution you not to enlist too many endevours as exciting you might think it will be you will soon find out that you cannot do it all, and on top of it do it well.

Again it is none of my business but I thought I would share my thoughts. The reality is that time is going faster and there is no time for everything, but anyhow good luck with all your plans.

God Bless!
BONIFACE said...
Haham thanks Anonymous. Don't worry, though - I just copied and pasted most of this article, so it's no trouble.

Everybody is perpetually worried that I am doing too many things!
Rose Berger said...
Wow! You guys are really out there. JustFaith is a wonderful program that is bringing people back to church. It deepens faith, teaches a living Catholicism, and encourages Catholic witness in the community. If you don't like the program, or don't find it helpful to what you want in your faith, then by all means don't join a JustFaith group. I've attended several and led a few. I found the information, books, and discussion to be a great help in strengthening my Catholicism and drawing me closer to the Eucharist.
Anonymous said...
Rose, we shouldn't confuse people just because we see some goo results out of the efforts. Truth matters and when you mic truth with lies, people end up with a poorly formed faith. There are plenty of people who have learned good things from the Koran but that doesn't make it good. We should love our faith enough to demand authentic teaching each and every time we discuss/study the faith. Our faith is precious from God and we should expect the best.
God bless an I am glad you have been brought closer to the Holy Eucharist.
Restore-DC-Catholicism said...
Just Faith is a quintessential snake in the grass. Yes, these folks surround themselves with Catholic trappings, but subtly promote liberation theology and dissent from the Church's teachings on sexuality and life. I've blogged extensively on this topic, as this Just Faith mess has infiltrated even my own parish. Please visit and put the words "Just Faith" in that little search box. Read all the posts, as well as the links which are also useful. Thank you.
BONIFACE said...
Thanks, Restore-DC. I linked your article up at the bottom of the post!
Anonymous said...
I have taken JustFaith, and am in my second year as a volunteer facilitator. I have been participating in daily Mass for over 30 years, have gone through the formation of Disciples of Jesus and Mary, and certainly would not accept any teaching of error of our beloved Catholic Church. If there were errors, I would seek to do something about it with those responsible for the curriculum.

I experienced much spiritual growth in the weekly prayer, Scripture, the book and documentary discussion. I have seen much fruit from graduates in our parish—one starting a homeless ministry, another organizing business and community leaders for a civil discourse forum on immigration, another educating that the Church teaches that we are to respect life from conception to natural death, and the problems then with the death penalty, another going door to door in a low income neighborhood. Everyone seems to be inspired to be more involved with helping those in need on a personal level, rather than writing a check.

JustFaith is not about the teaching of sacraments of ordination or marriage, so does not discuss and does NOT promote ordination of women or homosexual marriage. The environmentalism is about stewardship of resources. Social Justice is NOT synonymous with liberation theology, and such articles I think confuse people that they are one and the same.

JustFaith is a dynamic program, and improving. There are more than 4 books in the current curriculum. Two of those criticized here (Cloud of Witnesses and Amazing Grace) have been replaced by others over a year ago. I am not impressed by Phyllis’s effort to dissect and find what she thinks was lacking, or wrong. Instead of tearing down, why is there no mention that she offered her knowledge, gifts, and talents to contribute to the program? If she went to the decision makers, and her concerns were rebuffed, and she enlisted ecclesiastical support, and that too was disregarded, then I would want to hear the concerns that went unheeded.

I invite those who want to grow in understanding, and thereby love of those less fortunate, JustFaith is a great program to facilitate that growth.

God bless,
Janet, dJM
Anonymous said...
It appears that the author and responders is more catholic than Christian. I've been through JF and no, I don't agree with everything but then I don't agree with everything in the catecism. Go back to the Scripture.

BONIFACE said...
"More Catholic than Christian?"

To be Catholic is to be Christian in the fullest sense. Go back to the Scripture? We do. That is why we are Catholic and not wishy-washy pan-Christians. If you do not agree with the teachings of the Church, why even call yourself Catholic? Go find a Church that suits *your needs* better. Catholics are expected to follow the Catholic faith.
Kelly Nichols said...
I just went to an inquirers meeting at my Church to hear a presentation of JustFaith, held for the purpose of gaining people to join for this year. I had that FIF (funny internal feeling) as I listened and watched. Not that God was sending me vibes. But nevertheless, I felt uneasy. So I stumbled on your site. I'm going to print the article and give it to my pastor. This will be awkward, because I'm "new," and a recent convert, and may where out my welcome at this parish, since I've already submitted a paper to the pastor on "centering prayer," which he allows to be promoted at this parish also.
Thanks so much,
BONIFACE said...
Wow, awesome Kelly. I am glad to help. There are two more posts on this blog about JustFaith - click the JustFaith label at the bottom of the post.
DeniseT said...
I just learned of this blog post yesterday and was dumbfounded. I went through the entire JustFaith program 3 years ago and had a wonderfully positive experience. Every single session included Scripture, prayer and respectful dialogue about complex issues. The members of our small group ran the gamut of the political spectrum, and every single person had a positive experience. For some it was truly life changing: 2 women in the group participated in the parish's mission to Jamaica for the first time ever, both saying it never would have occurred to them to do so before JustFaith. I, and the rest, learned about the Church's encyclicals in a way that we never did before. The average Catholic has no idea what 'Rerum Novarum' means, and this program not only introduced us to the rich aspect of Catholic teaching, but gave us the opportunity to explore it in our everyday world. And never never never was there any mention of the radical views that are described in the blog above. Never. If you are wondering if this program is good or bad, right or wrong, for you or your parish, I encourage you to give it a try and see what it is really about, rather than relying on hearsay.
BONIFACE said...

I suppose one's experiences can be different depending on who moderates the sessions, but please note, this post is not based on hearsay, but on quotations from the actual books used by the program. Did your program not use these books?
tom bennett said...
I was exponed to The JustFaith Program as part of The Aspirancy Year for The Permanent. Diaconate in The Archdiocese of Atlanta. From the very beginning I was uneasy with the program: new age rituals, an overdose of Thomas Merton, no official church teaching and a slip of the tongue when the Deacon instructor openly questioned why his daughter could not celebrate all the Sacraments his son could. Ummm...what could he possibly mean? And then there was the film, "Portrait of a Radical," which does nothing to engender a deeper understanding of the Church's social justice doctrine. When I raised concerns about the program, I was brought in to the Archidiocese office and told quote: "You're no longer welcome in the Aspirancy Program." I was dismissed halfway through the Aspirancy Year in Aug 2013. In my opinion, this program is not in keeping with the official magisterium of the Church, is liberation theology and most importantly, not Christ-centered. 6 months later, I have to admit, I am still bothered by the way Iwas treated in a most unchristian like manner. It was shameful.
tom bennett said...
I was exponed to The JustFaith Program as part of The Aspirancy Year for The Permanent. Diaconate in The Archdiocese of Atlanta. From the very beginning I was uneasy with the program: new age rituals, an overdose of Thomas Merton, no official church teaching and a slip of the tongue when the Deacon instructor openly questioned why his daughter could not celebrate all the Sacraments his son could. Ummm...what could he possibly mean? And then there was the film, "Portrait of a Radical," which does nothing to engender a deeper understanding of the Church's social justice doctrine. When I raised concerns about the program, I was brought in to the Archidiocese office and told quote: "You're no longer welcome in the Aspirancy Program." I was dismissed halfway through the Aspirancy Year in Aug 2013. In my opinion, this program is not in keeping with the official magisterium of the Church, is liberation theology and most importantly, not Christ-centered. 6 months later, I have to admit, I am still bothered by the way Iwas treated in a most unchristian like manner. It was shameful.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Is Being Raised by a Transgender Nanny the Reason for President Obama's Recent Decisions?

The assault on Catholic morals from President Obama seem to have its beginning from his youth. This is the reason we must remember the Truth of our Creator:

"Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it." Proverbs 22:6 

By Lee Moran

Barack Obama's gay transgender prostitute nanny who made him laugh by trying on his mother's lipstick
  • Evie, 66, cared for future Commander in Chief she called Barry in late 60s
  • Offered job after she impressed Obama's mother with steak and rice
  • When family left Indonesia, she became a sex worker and now lives in a slum
Barack Obama's former nanny has been revealed as a gay transgender man who made the future president laugh by trying on his mother's lipstick.

'Evie' cared for the boy she called Barry when his mother Ann Dunham moved to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in the late 1960s.

Openly gay, she would leave the house dressed in full drag - but was very careful that Barack never saw her.

'He was so young and I never let him see me wearing women's clothes,' Evie said. 'But he did see me trying on his mother's lipstick, sometimes. That used to really crack him up.'

The nanny, who turned to prostitution after the family left and now lives in a slum, met the future commander-in-chief's mother at a cocktail party in 1969.

Dunham, who had moved to the country two years earlier with her second husband Lolo Soetoro, sampled Evie's beef steak and fried rice and was so impressed that she offered her a job.

It did not take long before she was also eight-year-old Barack's carer, playing with him and bringing him to and from school.
Neighbours recalled they often saw Evie, who believes she is really a woman, leave the house in the evening fully made up and dressed in drag. 
Nanny on left.

But when the family left in the early 1970s, things started going downhill. Evie moved in with a boyfriend. That relationship ended three years later, and she became a sex worker.

She said: 'I tried to get a job as a maid, but no one would hire me. I needed money to buy food, get a place to stay.'

It was a cat-and-mouse game with security guards and - because the country was still under the dictatorship of General Suharto - soldiers.

Nobody knows how many of them live in the sprawling nation of 240million, but activists estimate seven million. 

Because Indonesia is home to more Muslims than any other country in the world, the pervasiveness of men who live as women and vice versa often catches newcomers by surprise. 

They hold the occasional pageant, work as singers or at salons and include well-known celebrity talk show host Dorce Gamalama.

But societal disdain still runs deep - when transgenders act in TV comedies, they are invariably the brunt of the joke. 

They have taken a much lower profile in recent years, following a series of attacks by Muslim hard-liners. 

And the country's highest Islamic body has decreed that they are required to live as they were born because each gender has obligations to fulfil, such as reproduction.

'They must learn to accept their nature,' says Ichwan Syam, a prominent Muslim cleric at the influential Indonesian Ulema Council. 

'If they are not willing to cure themselves medically and religiously' they have 'to accept their fate to be ridiculed and harassed'.

Many transgenders turn to prostitution because jobs are hard to find and because they want to live according to what they believe is their true gender. 

In doing so, they put themselves at risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The raid that changed everything came in 1985. 

Evie and her friends scattered into dark alleys to escape the swinging batons. One particularly beautiful girl, Susi, jumped into a canal strewn with garbage.

When things quieted, those who ran went back to look for her. 'We searched all night,' said Evie, who is still haunted by the memory of her friend's face. 'Finally ... we found her. It was horrible. Her body swollen, face bashed in.'

Evie decided, then and there, to live the rest of her life as a man. She ditched her tight, flowery dresses, brocade vest and bras.

Now 66, she said: 'I knew in my heart I was a woman, but I didn't want to die like that. So I decided to just accept it. I've been living like this, a man, ever since.'

Several longtime residents of Obama's old Menteng neighbourhood confirmed Turdi had worked there as Barack's nanny for two years, also caring for his baby sister Maya. 

Evie, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name, now lives in a closet-sized hovel in a tightly packed slum in an eastern corner of Jakarta, collecting and scrubbing dirty laundry to pay for food. 

She wears baggy blue jeans and a white T-shirt advertising a tranquil beach resort far away in a place she has never been. She speaks softly, politely, and a deep worry line is etched between her eyes.

As a child, Evie was often beaten by a father who could not stand having such a 'sissy' for a son. She said: 'He wanted me to act like a boy, even though I didn't feel it in my soul.'

Teased and bullied, she dropped out of school after the third grade and decided to learn how to cook.
She made her way into the kitchens of several high-ranking officials by the time she was a teenager.

And then she met Obama's mother. Evie now seeks solace in religion, going regularly to the mosque and praying five times a day. She said she is just waiting to die.

She added that she did not know the boy she helped raise won the 2008 U.S. presidential election until she saw a picture of the family in local newspapers and on TV. She blurted out that she knew him.

Her friends at first laughed and thought she was crazy, but those who live in the family's old neighbourhood confirmed it is true.

'Many neighbours would remember Turdi. She was popular here at that time,' said Rudy Yara, who still lives across the street from Obama's former house. 

'She was a nice person and was always patient and caring in keeping young Barry.'

Evie hopes her former charge will use his power to fight for people like her. Obama named Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender appointee, as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department in 2010.

For Evie, who's now just trying to earn enough to survive each day on Jakarta's streets, the election victory itself was enough to give her a reason - for the first time in a long time - to feel proud.
'Now when people call me scum,' she says, 'I can just say: 'But I was the nanny for the President of the United States!'