Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Catholic Charities - "Consent is Sexy" Message When Bar Hopping

Update 11-20-13
 Community Alliance of Tenants Use this Venue too in 2013.

Catholic Charities is having their collection on May 5-6.  The people who are making a livelihood from Oregon collection plate tithes should be savvy enough to use our money wisely.  Catholic Charities in Oregon needs to be accountable to someone. 
First. Here is a great article from ORATES FRATES  member of Catholic Media Coalition.

Second. Below that article is a "conversation" between a keen Catholic and Roz Ramberg, the Public Relations Coordinator of Catholic Charities.

Both are getting to the same point.  For Catholic organizations to teach and proclaim all things Catholic.

PS The salsa clubs are not, to my knowledge, filled with "the poor and marginalized."   


In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Catholic Charities Project UNICA visited area nightclubs, including Andrea’s Cha Cha Club, in Portland to host “Nights of Consent” on April 19 and 20.

 Project UNICA staff greeted patrons at club entry points and used a hand-stamp reading, “Consent is Sexy” to promote and engage them in prevention of sexual assault.

Only Ed Baker gets it right:

“Let me get this straight. A “Catholic” organization is promoting the grave evil of fornication as an alternative to the grave evil of rape. Did it even occur to anyone at Oregon “Catholic” Charities to be courageous enough to promote virtue?”

No Ed, it didn’t.

According to the Catholic Charities press release:

“It’s important for people to know that without consent for sexual contact, it is rape; we are all responsible for keeping night clubs safe environments [?] where women don’t have to guard their drink or feel threatened,” said Project UNICA Program Manager Karen Janes.

Project UNICA staff hosted “Nights of Consent” at the following locations:

• Thursday, April 19 at Andrea’s Cha Cha Club, located at 832 S.E. Grand Ave. in Portland, from 10 p.m. to close
• Friday April 20 at Casa Colima, located at 6319 S.W. Capitol Hwy. in Portland, from 10 p.m. to close

ED NOTE: There is no Catholic edict against social dancing found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The subject herein is the offense of a Catholic organization promoting pre-marital sex, which according to Catholic teaching is fornication–Fornication “is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.” [CCC 2353]

Catholic Charities to visit nightclubs; talk about consent
Conversation with keen Catholic.

Hi Carolyn,

I wanted to be sure that you received the full exchange with Catholic
Charities. If you start at the bottom, you can follow the whole thing.   I
understand that there is a new director and they are slowly trying to clean
things up.  I am figuring that as long as they get charitable feedback,
maybe we can keep them on track.

God love us all!

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 7:33 AM
To: 'Roz Ramberg'
Subject: RE: Catholic Charities

Hi Roz,

I truly appreciate your taking the time to respond to my concerns so clearly
and with such care.
Please indulge me as I clarify a couple of points.

I understood that the event was intended to help women at risk. Intention
was never in question.  I do find it somewhat difficult to accept this
statement "It was never our intent to imply that "consent" in any way
endorses pre-marital sexual behavior."  In the context of an event sponsored
in conjunction with sexual assault awareness, how would most people
interpret the tag line?  Education in ways to avoid sexual asault, offering
assistance out of abusive relationships, reinforcing for young women  that
they do not need to provide sexual favors to be considered of worth, all
good work. However, in this context, Consent is Sexy really is going to be
understood in one way.  Words mean things and it is important that one
carefully consider how the words one chooses will be heard by the intended

Finally, I refer back to your statement "it is our belief we can make a
difference in the safety of women and help foster the development of
healthy, dignified relationships- the  kind of relationships that can
progress appropriately to valid, lifelong relationships if that is God's
will and the intention of the couple."  I fully support this statement.
Catholic organizations have a long history of this type of help for the
underprivileged and vulnerable in a society, no matter their race or creed.
All should be treated with respect, dignity and compassion. But, a Catholic
organization cannot, in the name of helping people, ignore the souls of
those being helped. Not to convert them, but as Mother Teresa said:
"There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important
that everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a
Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic
become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to

Mother Teresa's sisters did not at any time compromise their adherence to
the Catholic faith in their work. The fact that the recipients of the
assistance are not Catholic, the fact that some employees of Catholic
Charities are not Catholic, does not change the fact that Catholic Charities
needs to do its work from within the teachings of the Catholic faith.
Because that is where Truth lies, and the Holy Spirit will bless the work

Thank you for your time and God bless you.
Name withheld by request

-----Original Message-----
From: Roz Ramberg []
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 5:08 PM
To: Subject: RE: Catholic Charities?


 We understand the use of a tag line "consent is sexy" can be construed in
many ways, some which are problematic. It was never our intent to imply that
"consent" in any way endorses pre-marital sexual behavior. In fact, the
objective of the event was to educate--through distributed educational
materials, speeches from survivors of sexual assault and one-on-one
conversations with domestic violence staff--that consent prior to any
activity is the essential component of a healthy and dignified relationship
and the first step in circumventing sexual assault.

Due to the nature of the public feedback we have received, it is apparent we

made a poor choice of words; thus we have opted to eliminate the use of this
language in outreach and prevention efforts of Catholic Charities.

We are proud of the work of Catholic Charities and work diligently to be

good stewards of donor contributions. We do not take this responsibility

Thank you, again, for the opportunity to address your concerns.


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 10:33 AM
To: 'Roz Ramberg'
Subject: RE: Catholic Charities?


Thank you for your thoughtful reply.  I do have some additonal concerns,
however.  My initial question is how this particular project really
"empowers" women to say no? This appears to be targeted to the
Latino/Hispanic community.  A young man who receives the "Consent is Sexy"
stamp, thinks to himself, "Yes, it is great if the girls just consent, makes
it easier".  In a situation with a young woman who has grown up in a culture
where the men are more forceful in this regard, how does stamping them with
the phrase "Consent is Sexy"  empower them to say no?  Young women going to
a nightclub WANT to be sexy. I am NOT saying they want to be promiscuous, I
am saying that being sexy equates many times in our culture, and in certain
ethnic cultures, with being sexy. Now we have Catholic Charities sweeping in
telling them that "Consent is Sexy".

This is laudable: "it is our belief we can make a difference in the safety
of women and help foster the development of healthy, dignified relationships
- the  kind of relationships that can progress appropriately to valid,
lifelong relationships if that is God's will and the intention of the

The approach that was taken was at the least silly, at the worst harmful and
counter productive. Additionally, the Catholics in the pew are asked to
contribute to Catholic Charities and as they wish to participate in the
goals you stated in your reply, and to assist the poor and needy in our
community, they give to the best of their ability. The scandalous nature of
the project will give pause to many people.  Money is tight for many
families in these times, my own included and it is wrong to accept donations
from the Catholic faithful and use them for a project that is so clearly
counter to the teachings of the Catholic Church.   It is a violation of

I appreciate your taking the time to discuss this with me.  I am not wishing
to give offense in my questions, I am sincerely striving to come to some
understanding. I also realize that in social work there are often gray areas
and reasonable people may disagree about particular projects and their
worthiness.  This project fell well outside the boundaries of what is
acceptable for a Catholic organization to engage in. I have no idea if you
yourself are Catholic or not, so you may not realize, but for a Catholic
institution to give scandal in this way to the faithful is a very serious
thing.  Which, then, brings me to another question as to whether there is
any type of oversight(advice) given to keep the projects within the
acceptable guidelines.

Again, thank you for your time.  I am not anti-Catholic Charities.  Some of
my family's most fulfilling experiences were through Catholic Charities when
we were able to assist a couple of refugee families.

Name withheld by request to VOCAL

 -----Original Message-----
From: Roz Ramberg []
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 9:51 AM
Subject: FW: Catholic Charities?

It is our tradition to acknowledge and teach young women chastity and
integrity, spiritually and physically, before and after marriage.  In
Catholic Charities' service to the marginalized in our community, we seek to
empower our clients to absorb the knowledge and resources we provide for
them, and incorporate it into their lives to live as God calls them to.

While we do not justify or rationalize the active sexual behavior of our

clients, we are keenly aware we live in a society where women are all too
often victims of violence and sexual assault. According to the Oregon
Department of Justice, one out of every six adult women, or about 230,000
adult women in Oregon, has been the victim of forcible rape sometime in her

lifetime. It is our hope that events like "Nights of Consent" reach  women
who may be at risk of joining these victims. As a provider of a 24-hour
domestic violence hotline, it is our hope to prevent sexual assault, while
educating about respecting one another and promoting healthy, stable

By empowering women to say "no," and educating men that they must receive

consent before engaging women in any activity-including touching, dancing,
and talking, among other behaviors (actions that are not exclusively sexual
in nature), it is our belief we can make a difference in the safety of women
and help foster the development of healthy, dignified relationships - the
kind of relationships that can progress appropriately to valid, lifelong
relationships if that is God's will and the intention of the couple.

Thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns. We ask for your

continued prayers and support as we work to fulfill our mission to serve
Oregon's poor and most vulnerable populations regardless of faith, race,
marital status or condition in life. Please let me know if I may assist


Roz Ramberg
Public Relations Coordinator
Catholic Charities
Providing Help, Creating Hope
2740 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202


-----Original Message-----
From: Bunce, Bud []
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 8:53 AM
To: Roz Ramberg
Subject: FW: Catholic Charities?


Would you or someone on C. Charities staff please respond to Ms. .

Bud Bunce

Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Portland

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 8:25 PM
To: Bunce, Bud
Subject: Catholic Charities?

I am deeply puzzled by this article in the Oregonian:

Is Catholic Charities affiliated with the Catholic Church?
I do not know where to turn for answers, other than the archdiocese.
Name withheld by request to VOCAL



Laura said...

I am so disappointed Catholic Charities which we have supported for years would choose such a poor campaing slogan.

I read your responses to VOCAL and when you have to use so many words to debunk or justify why you chose "consent is sexy," it is obvious you knew the meaning behind consensual sex which the church forbids outside marriage.

In a world where we are trying so diligently to raise abstinent, morally good children, an campaign assault from you within our church is unthinkable.

Pray next time before you roll a morally repulsive slogan across the face of Catholic Charities or I can promise you will lose more support than just ours.

VOCAL said...

You say it all. This is a morally repulsive and behind that is anti-Catholic teaching. Roz doesn't know her catechism.

Becky said...

Hi Carolyn,

It appears that the wrong-headed slogan has been dropped. I am including, below, a correspondence with Catholic Charities and one of the home-school moms in the Holy Rosary group in regards to this issue. Be sure to read the last entry by Roz of Catholic Charities, as it seems to reflect well on CC.


VOCAL said...


Before the "slogan" got out...who paid for the leaflets? The information was already spreading the error when there was a problem.

The people in Catholic charities need to know their Catechism before they go to the Salsa bar. It's not the place to speak of rules or rape.

Rape and saying hello are not of the same value and it's amazing that this was said. This is true error ridden feminism at it's core.

James said...

Portland Archdiocese's new translation of Christ's instruction to the woman caught in adultery: "Go and don't sin as much".

VOCAL said...

I LOVE IT. You're so funny. It's amazing how people are so warn down they don't see the slip into the abyss. I'm an abyss slipper too, but I'm not going to "translate" Christ's true instruction.

My, you do have a way with words.
God Bless you.

Nina said...

Very disturbing!

Imagine a write-up in the Catholic Sentinel:

"Catholic Charities Outreach at Taverns Keep Consent Sexy."

Or something!

It's a Planned Parenthood - type slogan! I have a hunch that a former PP employee wrote it!!

VOCAL said...

You're so right about PP involvement.
Maybe some sleuthing is in order. They get too big for their britches and really get some people, even well meaning people, snowed.

Thanks for your insight.

Lili said...

ok- that's just completely CRAZY! WE'VE JUST GOT TO GET ORGANIZED!

VOCAL said...

You're so right. I love that you're using a fav quote from a fav movie.

Well, the weeds grow with the wheat, I'm sorry that we have to pay for the fertilizer though.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who were in the military, the Archdiocese is known as a target rich environment.

Mary said...

Oh my goodness.

VOCAL said...


We civilians only have to scratch the surface to see the connection of dots and collusion against Catechism Catholics. They seem to know better. I pray that when our new Archbishop comes, he will put in charge those who can be trusted to save souls.

Anonymous said...

While it is sad that this slogan and this event took place, we, as Catholics, also need to practice the Works of Mercy. In this case I see that Admonishing the sinner has been done - the issue was brought to the attention of the proper people. We need to Instruct the ignorant - I see claims in these comments (with a nasty tone to them) that some do not know their Catechism, let's instruct them with kindness and patience. We must also Forgive all injuries. As I read the exchange (and from a response to my own letter to Catholic Charities) it is very apparent that they are working on correcting this, and have asked for forgiveness. This post(aside from the letters actually exchanged) and some comments tend toward detraction and even libel.
While it is important for us to bring awareness to Catholic organizations that they are not following/adhering to the teachings of the Church, let us not on our way forget ourselves that we, too, must act accordingly.
Mrs. Cary S.

VOCAL said...

I thank the people who are willing to stick their necks out and do something unpleasant as was the post and conversation that I was so kindly afforded.

When Catholic Charities so openly advertises a project of such a questionable teachings, a public apology is necessary so all people will be on the same page.

We are paying these people's salary and in these times especially everyone is called to step up to the plate and do their best at their job.

I will keep this in mind when posting my comments because people really don't know me.

But I know the people that posted the post and wrote the letter and I can assure you they are both stellar Catholics and are very careful not to hurt people.

Those at Catholic Charities have a duty to teach truth that is what gets folks riled up. It's one thing for non Catholics to get it wrong, but we should count on those hired to get it right.

Anonymous said...

I admire Catholic Charities for braving an environment that most people would see as vulgar and hopeless. If one person was influenced in a positive direction by this event then it was worth it.

VOCAL said...

If you look at the video of Andrea's Cha Cha dance club, you'd see that there is nothing "vulgar or hopeless" about it. It seemed that it was a lousy venue to try to "evangelize" when people were dancing and having fun.

The problem was with the term "consent is sexy" which is very problematic. This is vulgar and hopeless to me and shows a warped mentality if this is supposed to stop someone from raping. Rape is not a sex crime but one of violence.

The Cha Cha establishment was a super easy place to go to. Thanks for wasting our money Catholic Charities.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I thought The "Cha Cha club" was a strip club. I like the concept though-- going into these places and ministering to women (and men) about sexual morality in a non-judgemental way. I think the "sexy" was meant to be non-judgemental.

I would like to see Catholic Charities go to strip clubs to promote charity. Also, I can see how clubs are weak spots were women can be victimized. Focusing on a "sexy" message in an already sexual environment may be undermining the women's integrity a bit. I would have chosen a different "catch phrase" as well, but I DO like the concept and I think it's valuable.

VOCAL said...

It's interesting to believe that Catholic Charities has any business in a strip club. It's sad that women are degraded in any way, but this is truly unacceptable and will do little to help. This just undermines that concept that we need a Catholic Charities.

It would be better if you went yourself and did this type of evangelizing if you have it on your heart. Most people think Catholic Charities would do better keeping themselves out of these places.

Catholic Charities has lost their vision from what they were created for. They are too big for their britches and should fall on their knees and pray for some wisdom from the Lord. The employees should remember that their salaries and benefits are paid for by people who trust them to make wise Godly decisions.

David Wendell said...

"it is apparent we made a poor choice of words; thus we have opted to eliminate the use of this language ...."

I think a more effective outreach is to organize a picket line in front of porn shops. The picket signs would say "sex before marriage is bad for men and woman". I have a feeling you will never see that type of demonstration organized by Catholic Charities. Pointing out the error of Catholic Charities in this instance is NOT judgemental. TRUE love and courage demands it. Your anonymous poster is confused about what "judgemental means.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you guys should all do something about this too! This is very concerning. You can't keep sex from the vatican! Once you rally at this, then maybe can understand the catholic religion. WHAT A JOKE!!!

VOCAL said...

The men in the Vatican are not God. There are all sorts of evil things going on that makes Catholics sick to think of these things going on in the Church. It doesn't surprise me, or make me question the Truth in the Church founded by Christ.

I have no reason to doubt the Exorcist. I have no doubt that things go on that would make our hair stand on end.

The Truth is to stay close to Christ and His never changes and is pure at its core. The funny business and use of this beautiful religion for evil will always be there. Terrible things balance the Beauty of the Church.

We all need each other and now with all the social networking and such, things like this can be exposed and brought into the light where it needs to be.

There are so many who are fighting against these things and the Lord is in control, although He Weeps.