Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Where you can see Pope Francis in the US in September.

(RNS) The Vatican on Tuesday (June 30) released details of Pope Francis’ itinerary for his Sept. 22-27 visit to the U.S., his first to this country.
He will be arriving from Cuba, where he will spend three full days (he arrives there Sept. 19) visiting Havana as well as the country’s main shrine in Santiago.
In the U.S., he will arrive in Washington, then visit New York and Philadelphia.
Here are details on the stops, via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other sources. The best chance of seeing the pope live is at his final Mass in Philadelphia, though motorcade routes have not been announced.


  • 4 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews


  • 9:15 a.m. Welcoming ceremony on South Lawn of the White House; brief remarks from Pope Francis and President Obama followed by a private meeting with the president
  • 11:30 a.m. Midday prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
  • 4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the University Mall at The Catholic University of America (capacity: 25,000, with tickets distributed through parishes)


  • 9:20 a.m. Address to joint session of the United States Congress
  • 10:15 a.m. (approximately) May wave to (but not bless) crowd on the Mall from the Capitol’s West Front
  • 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington; to meet with several people served by Catholic Charities
  • Noon (approximately) Blessing and brief remarks to the clients gathered at lunchtime for the St. Maria Meals Program of Catholic Charities
  • 4 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
  • 5 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral


  • 8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and address to the United Nations General Assembly
  • 11:30 a.m. Multireligious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
  • 4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
  • 6 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden (capacity: 18,000)


  • 8:40 a.m. Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 9:30 a.m. Private arrival (no official ceremony) at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
  • 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
  • 4:45 p.m. Visit to Independence Mall, and address to immigrants from the historic site on the themes of religious liberty and immigration
  • 7:30 p.m. Visit to the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway (decisions regarding which events will require passes are still to be determined. The Festival of Families and the Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are open to the public).


  • 9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops and cardinals at at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
  • 11 a.m. Visit to prisoners and some of their families at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
  • 4 p.m. Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway (more than 1 million expected)
  • 7 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
  • 8 p.m. Departure for Rome

'Simply wrong' Archbishop Alexander Sample responds to decision by Supreme Court legalizing same-sex "marriage"

6/29/2015 10:00:00 AM Catholic Sentinel
Catholic News Service
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.

Catholic News Service
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C.

Most Rev. Alexander Sample
Archbishop of Portland
I am deeply saddened by the narrow majority decision of the Supreme Court requiring all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage.”

It is indeed a tragic ruling that will negatively affect the common good of our society, especially the future generations of children.

The Court is simply wrong, as the minority opinions state.

Our Constitution does not require states to redefine marriage. A Court ruling cannot make what is intrinsically false to be somehow true. Marriage, by its very nature, can only be between one man and one woman. No human decision can trump the natural law which is inscribed in the very nature of man and woman as we come from the hand of the Creator.

Just as the Roe vs. Wade decision did not end the debate over the right to life of the unborn, so this decision by the Supreme Court will not silence those of us who will continue to advocate for a just and proper understanding of the very nature of marriage itself based on the natural differentiation of the sexes.

I am especially concerned with the impact that this decision will have on children. Marriage is the one institution that connects children to both their mothers and fathers. All children have the natural right to know their mothers and fathers wherever and whenever possible. This disturbing ruling will make that much more difficult for future generations of children. For them, it is an injustice.

I am deeply concerned that this ruling will have a chilling effect on the protection of the religious rights and liberties enjoyed by citizens of this great land. It is not at all unreasonable to think that those who will uphold the true nature of marriage as between one man and one woman are going to be in for very difficult days ahead.

As I stated when same-sex “marriage” became legal in the State of Oregon:

“From the beginning, our efforts to prevent this from happening were never about demeaning or attacking the dignity of persons who happen to be homosexual. Their dignity as human persons must never be called into question or denied. This has always been about upholding and protecting the unique institution in our society that we call marriage.”
We will move forward with hope and determination to protect and honor the sacred institution of marriage as given to us from our Creator. For us, marriage can and will always be what it is, i.e. the union of one man and one woman. We will pray for all those negatively impacted by this decision, especially children."

May God help us, and may God bless America.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Prophesy on What the Church Will Look Like. From 2000

"From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.

She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so will she lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, she will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision.

As a small society, she will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly she will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion.

Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly.

But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world.

In faith and prayer she will again recognize her true center and experience the sacraments again as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship. 

The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right.

It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystalization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek.

The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed.

One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism of the eve of the French Revolution—when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain—to the renewal of the nineteenth century.

But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.
Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times.

The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith.

She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death."

From 2013: G. K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage

by Dale Alquist, The Amerian Chesterton Society

One of the pressing issues of Chesterton’s time was “birth control.” He not only objected to the idea, he objected to the very term because it meant the opposite of what it said. It meant no birth and no control. I can only imagine he would have the same objections about “gay marriage.” The idea is wrong, but so is the name. It is not gay and it is not marriage.

Chesterton was so consistently right in his pronouncements and prophecies because he understood that anything that attacked the family was bad for society. That is why he spoke out against eugenics and contraception, against divorce and “free love” (another term he disliked because of its dishonesty), but also against wage slavery and compulsory state-sponsored education and mothers hiring other people to do what mothers were designed to do themselves.

It is safe to say that Chesterton stood up against every trend and fad that plagues us today because every one of those trends and fads undermines the family. Big Government tries to replace the family’s authority, and Big Business tries to replace the family’s autonomy. There is a constant commercial and cultural pressure on father, mother, and child. They are minimized and marginalized and, yes, mocked. But as Chesterton says, “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

This latest attack on the family is neither the latest nor the worst. But it has a shock value to it, in spite of the process of de-sensitization that the information and entertainment industries have been putting us through the past several years. Those who have tried to speak out against the normalization of the abnormal have been met with “either slanging or silence,” as Chesterton was when he attempted to argue against the faddish philosophies that were promoted by the major newspapers in his day.

In 1926, he warned, “The next great heresy will be an attack on morality, especially sexual morality.” His warning has gone unheeded, and sexual morality has decayed progressively. But let us remember that it began with birth control, which is an attempt to create sex for sex’s sake, changing the act of love into an act of selfishness. The promotion and acceptance of lifeless, barren, selfish sex has logically progressed to homosexuality.

Chesterton shows that the problem of homosexuality as an enemy of civilization is quite old. In The Everlasting Man, he describes the nature-worship and “mere mythology” that produced a perversion among the Greeks. “Just as they became unnatural by worshiping nature, so they actually became unmanly by worshiping man.” Any young man, he says, “who has the luck to grow up sane and simple” is naturally repulsed by homosexuality because “it is not true to human nature or to common sense.” He argues that if we attempt to act indifferent about it, we are fooling ourselves. It is “the illusion of familiarity,” when “a perversion become[s] a convention.”

In Heretics, Chesterton almost makes a prophecy of the misuse of the word “gay.” He writes of “the very powerful and very desolate philosophy of Oscar Wilde. It is the carpe diem religion.” Carpe diem means “seize the day,” do whatever you want and don’t think about the consequences, live only for the moment. “But the carpe diem religion is not the religion of happy people, but of very unhappy people.” There is a hopelessness as well as a haplessness to it.

When sex is only a momentary pleasure, when it offers nothing beyond itself, it brings no fulfillment. It is literally lifeless. And as Chesterton writes in his book St. Francis of Assisi, the minute sex ceases to be a servant, it becomes a tyrant. This is perhaps the most profound analysis of the problem of homosexuals: they are slaves to sex. They are trying to “pervert the future and unmake the past.” They need to be set free.

Sin has consequences. Yet Chesterton always maintains that we must condemn the sin and not the sinner. And no one shows more compassion for the fallen than G.K. Chesterton. Of Oscar Wilde, whom he calls “the Chief of the Decadents,” he says that Wilde committed “a monstrous wrong” but also suffered monstrously for it, going to an awful prison, where he was forgotten by all the people who had earlier toasted his cavalier rebelliousness. “His was a complete life, in that awful sense in which your life and mine are incomplete; since we have not yet paid for our sins. In that sense one might call it a perfect life, as one speaks of a perfect equation; it cancels out. On the one hand we have the healthy horror of the evil; on the other the healthy horror of the punishment.”

Chesterton referred to Wilde’s homosexual behavior as a “highly civilized” sin, something that was a worse affliction among the wealthy and cultured classes. It was a sin that was never a temptation for Chesterton, and he says that it is no great virtue for us never to commit a sin for which we are not tempted. That is another reason we must treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with compassion.

We know our own sins and weaknesses well enough. Philo of Alexandria said, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a terrible battle.” But compassion must never compromise with evil. Chesterton points out that balance that our truth must not be pitiless, but neither can our pity be untruthful.

Homosexuality is a disorder. It is contrary to order. Homosexual acts are sinful, that is, they are contrary to God’s order. They can never be normal. And worse yet, they can never even be even. As Chesterton’s great detective Father Brown says:  “Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down.”

Marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the order. And the Catholic Church teaches that it is a sacramental order, with divine implications. The world has made a mockery of marriage that has now culminated with homosexual unions.

But it was heterosexual men and women who paved the way to this decay. Divorce, which is an abnormal thing, is now treated as normal. Contraception, another abnormal thing, is now treated as normal. Abortion is still not normal, but it is legal. Making homosexual “marriage” legal will not make it normal, but it will add to the confusion of the times. And it will add to the downward spiral of our civilization.

But Chesterton’s prophecy remains: We will not be able to destroy the family. We will merely destroy ourselves by disregarding the family.

Worship Director named for Archdiocese of Portland

Jesson Mata

The Archdiocese of Portland has a new director for the Office of Divine Worship. Jesson Mata, former director of liturgy and music at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle, has accepted the position.

“Divine worship is at the heart of everything we do as the People of God in western Oregon,” says Archbishop Alexander Sample.

The archbishop calls Mata “an exceptional candidate” with the background, knowledge, talent and excellent communication skills needed to be successful.

“His thorough knowledge of and passion for the sacred liturgy will be a tremendous support to me and our pastors and parishes,” the archbishop says, asking that people keep the office in their prayers.

Mata will start work at the pastoral center on July 7. 

A native of the Philippines, Mata was raised in a Catholic household and came to the United States with his family at age 9. He quickly learned English and became fascinated with American culture and politics.

He studied political science and philosophy at Seattle University and later continued his studies in philosophy and theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

Mata directed liturgy and music for 10 years at Blessed Sacrament, where he developed liturgical and musical programs aimed at centralizing the focus of worship on the Eucharist. He worked with hundreds of volunteers and taught and trained liturgical and music ministers.

As a former seminarian with the Dominican Order, Mata developed a love for prayer and a devotion to the Eucharist. He focused study and prayer on the liturgy, particularly on the development of the celebration of the Mass as well as the Divine Office. He gives talks on the topics.

Mata’s devotion to the Eucharist originated from his work with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, where he volunteered alongside the Sisters to attend to the poor, dying, and orphaned. He prayed the Mass with the sisters each morning and ended the day with adoration. He also spent many hours praying at Mother Teresa’s tomb.

Mata says he is most excited to share his faith and pray with the people of the Archdiocese of Portland. He is looking forward to meeting clergy and the lay faithful and hopes to deepen their love of the sacred liturgy.

Mata says he plans to hike and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. He is an avid gardener, a health and fitness enthusiast, and a photographer.

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Just who do we think we are?" How the Supreme Court’s conservatives explained their votes against "gay marriage".

 From Quartz.com an interesting article on why these Supreme Court Justices voted against this decision.  Their decisions on maintaining the status quo for the common good is excellent reading.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage throughout the US split along familiar lines, with the nine-member court’s four most conservative justices voting against a nationwide right to homosexual unions.

Chief justice John Roberts joined justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito in opposing the majority’s opinion on the case brought by Ohio resident James Obergefell, whose 2013 marriage to his now-deceased partner was not recognized by the state.

Here are excerpts from the four dissenting opinions (pdf) the naysaying justices filed.  From page 41 of this pdf you will find the complete arguments against this decision.

Go to page 41 of the pdf attachment for the whole text.  There's so much good reading.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.

Justice Antonin Scalia

It is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention.

Justice Clarence Thomas

The majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a “liberty” that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government. This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it.

Justice Samuel Alito

The Constitution says nothing about a right to same-sex marriage, but the Court holds that the term “liberty” in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment encompasses this right. Our Nation was founded upon the principle that every person has the unalienable right to liberty, but liberty is a term of many meanings. For classical liberals, it may include economic rights now limited by government regulation. For social democrats, it may include the right to a variety of government benefits. For today’s majority, it has a distinctively postmodern meaning. To prevent five unelected Justices from imposing their personal vision of liberty upon the American people, the Court has held that “liberty” under the Due Process Clause should be understood to protect only those rights that are “‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” … And it is beyond dispute that the right to same-sex marriage is not among those rights.

USCCB on SCOTUS Obergefell v. Hodges – “tragic error”

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The full statement follows:

"Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today.

Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote.

Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.

Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Archbishop Alexander Sample marks 25 years as a priest

6/23/2015 3:22:00 PM

Rick Keating/El Centinela
Archbishop Alexander Sample accepts a gift from Fátima Rodas at the St. Juan Diego Congress in Turner.

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel
Archbishop Alexander Sample says his 25th anniversary of ordination is no more important than anyone else’s.

“I could not be more grateful to Almighty God for the tremendous blessing he has bestowed on me during these past 25 years,” Archbishop Sample says. “One of the greatest blessings has been the many people he has placed in my life and allowed me to serve.”

He was raised in Nevada, the youngest of three. A teacher-priest told the 17-year-old he had a vocation to priesthood. But first, young Alex studied metallurgical engineering at Michigan Tech. Then, before pursuing a post-doctorate degree, he stunned professors by announcing plans for seminary.

He studied at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. and the Pontifical College Josephinum Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. After ordination for the Diocese of Marquette, he served as associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral and then was pastor of area parishes. He studied canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

During his seven-year tenure as bishop of Marquette, 2006-2013, he wrote four pastoral letters, undertook a $10 million capital campaign, set in place a unified catechesis, and developed plans to secure Catholic schools.

He was named Archbishop of Portland in 2013. Here, he has identified pastoral priorities, visited parishes, prisons and migrant camps, spoken out against abortion and the death penalty and catechized on marriage. In homilies to new priests and deacons, Archbishop Sample says ministry is about Jesus, not gaining recognition.

“I feel a great and awesome holiness about him,” says Angie Doyen, secretary at St. Anthony Parish in Gwinn, Mich. “He has been a courageous priest who clearly desires to reach and inspire his flock through his powerful words and prayerful, humble actions.”

Denise Foye, director of faith formation for the Diocese of Marquette, calls him “truly a remarkable teacher of our beloved faith.” Her abiding memory is of the future archbishop teaching people who wanted to become Catholic.

“He is quite simply a fine pastor, full of compassion while upholding truth,” say Francis and Theresa Darr, who belong to St. Peter Cathedral Parish in Marquette.

“He is the kind of priest who boldly and unreservedly speaks the truth at all times, but always tempered with love,” say Todd and Susan Rapavi, members of St. Peter Cathedral.

Archbishop Sample cites a retreat director who told western Oregon clergy that priesthood is a mission worthy of their existence. “This is a great life!” Archbishop Sample says. “I hope many young men will respond to the Lord’s call to serve him as a priest.”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Guest Post on Oregon Tax Court Documents regarding Archdiocese of Portland Rectory Taxation

Parishioners must be aware of this action by the Oregon Tax Court regarding rectories and make up their own minds.  Below is one Oregon Catholics viewpoint.

Please click on the link below the guest post for all court information. 

Guest post is referring to information contained in this VOCAL post. 
(Oregon Tax Court Approves Taxation Of Church Rectory - Forbes Magazine)


I read the decision after I read the article. The Archdiocese wasted their time. They tried to argue the case with Canon Law. Stupid (What's new?). However, the Court seemed to have decided the case on the issue of a rectory being used for "solely" religious activities. Whether the rectory was on or next door to the parish property or a mile away would not change the use of the Rectory. The priest will still be doing exactly the same things there regardless of location. Again, I am with your reader's questioning of the general idea of these "off-campus" rectories or their appointments. But I think there are larger issues at play here. 

We know there is a long standing antipathy towards Catholics and Catholicism in Oregon. This general anti-religious push is growing in our country driven by pro-abortion and homosexual lobbies which are now very powerful and influential. The "sole use" argument that the Court accepted is going to be used as a hammer in which to further tax church income/properties.

For example, an off property building owned by a parish is rented for non-religious purposes. That income goes to the parish tax free now and is probably used to sustain parish activities. I can see a Tax Court ruling that income from non-religious events is taxable (in other words it will be ruled a for-profit business). Next will come a case on whether on-site uses of church property for ostensively "non-religious" uses (a Lions Club event) will be considered taxable. Events such as those are secular activities. And on and on ending with the only things that can be done on church owned property will be sacramental activities (Baptism, Mass, Confession, Confirmation, and funerals), counseling and teaching.

Basically doing what Mexico did to the Church in the early 20th century. We are seeing it already where government is using grants to force religious entities to deny or restrain their beliefs or missions in order to get or retain government grants. Then again I'm not sure that losing government grants is a bad thing. Look at what has happened to Catholic Charities. So I do appreciate the comments. To be honest the wounds are often self inflicted or invited. This may be one of them. But it will not stop here. There is an agenda at play. 
One other thing and I know you'll agree. Where was the fancy pro-abortion lobbyist that the Archdiocese employs? Just what does he do for that $40,000-50,000 a year? With the Legislature in session, why no push for pre-emptive statutory relief? Where were those "allies" of our Chancellery crowd, AKA Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon?
 Also why were the people who would pay these taxes (those of us in the pews) not alerted to this? (Move on folks, nothing to see here. Just keep those envelopes coming). I called the Catholic Sentinel and asked Langlois about it. He did not even know of it. and I genuinely believe he was telling the truth. 
No one that I spoke with in Financial Services at the Chancellery knew. Its almost Keystone Cops down there. Our church authorities are completely clueless in the use of political action (rallies, protests, etc.) to protect Catholics from governmental encroachment. I could go on but I'll end it here. Again appreciate your reader's comments.

Jim Welsh

click on link for court document.
Oregon Tax Court Docs regarding Archdpdx Rectory Taxation

Monday, June 8, 2015

Where's that priest going? Archdiocese of Portland announces clergy reassignments.

 From the Catholic Sentinel June 8, 2015   Where's that priest going?

The Archdiocese of Portland is announcing its 2015 clergy reassignments. The changes take effect July 1 unless noted otherwise. Here are the new assignments: 


Father Brian Allbright

New assignment: Pastor, St. Cyril, Wilsonville
Previous assignment: Administrator, Sacred Heart, Newport

Father Allbright was born in 1953 in Portland. He attended Central Catholic High School, the Oregon College of Education in Monmouth and the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, N.Y. He was ordained in 1983 by Cardinal Terrance Cooke for the Maryknoll Missioners.

He traveled to Guatemala, where he was pastor of San Antonio in Sayaxche until 1987. He served as pastor at a refugee camp in Honduras for two years and pastor in a Honduras community for six years. Father Allbright worked in Seattle and then Los Angeles promoting the Maryknoll mission work. He came to Portland in 2001, serving as parochial vicar at St. Joseph in Salem, then St. Anne in Portland, and then as administrator of St. Alexander, Cornelius before beginning service in Newport.

Father Martin King

New assignment: Pastor, St. Thomas More, Portland. On sabbatical until Dec. 1.
Previous assignment: special assignment, military leave

Father King, 60, was raised in a Catholic family in Lorain, Ohio. Before entering seminary, he served in the U.S. Air Force for a decade as a transportation management officer and an Air Force training instructor in the U.S., Korea and The Philippines.

While in seminary, he remained in the Air Force Reserves.

He was ordained in 1996 for the Archdiocese for Military Services, but was affiliated with the Archdiocese of Portland. Military chaplains return to their affiliated dioceses when they retire from the military.

In 1999, Father King returned to the Air Force, this time as a chaplain, starting at MacDill Air Base in Tampa Fla., where he was spiritual guide for 2,500 men and women, plus Catholic retirees in the area. His last assignment was as chaplain at the U.S. Air Force base in Geilenkirchen, Germany.

Father Jeff Meeuwsen

New assignment: Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Aloha
Previous assignment: Study, North American College, Rome

Father Meeuwsen was born in Hillsboro in 1977. He attended St. Francis of Assisi School in Roy and graduated from Valley Catholic High in 1995. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 from Gonzaga University in Spokane. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in the fall of 2001. His ministry has included work at Sacred Heart Elementary School, Gervais, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Portland, Blanchet High School, Salem and St. Cecilia Parish, Beaverton. He earned a master’s degree and a master of divinity degree at Mount Angel Seminary in 2007.  Before entering Mount Angel Seminary, he taught at Visitation Catholic School in Verboort.
He has served at St. Edward , North Plains, St. Anthony, Forest Grove, and Sacred Heart, Medford.

Father Louis Urbanski

New assignment: Pastor, St. Edward, North Plains
Previous assignment: Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Aloha

Father Urbanski, who turns 77 on June 19, was born in Atkinson, Neb. He attended Central Catholic High School in Portland, graduating in 1956 and began studies at the University of Portland before beginning at Mount Angel Seminary. He did advanced studies at University of Portland, Portland State University, University of Oregon and St. John’s College in Collegeville, Minn.

He was ordained in 1964 at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by Archbishop Edward Howard.

Father Urbanski taught in Catholic high schools for the first decade of his priesthood, living and helping at St. Charles, St. Rose, St. Peter and St. Pius X parishes and then served as principal of Regis High in Stayton and Valley Catholic in Beaverton.
As a parish priest, he served at St. Therese  and St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Portland before taking the post in Aloha.


Father Mark Gikenyi

New assignment: Administrator, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Rainier/St. John the Baptist, Clatskanie
Previous assignment: Administrator, St. Cyril, Wilsonville

Father Mark Gikenyi was born in 1978 in Kisii South (Gucha), Kenya. He graduated from the Salvatorian Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Morogoro, Tanzania, in 2005 and entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2006. His ministry preparation in Oregon has included All Saints, Portland, St. John, Milwaukie, St. Mary, Corvallis, and Our Lady of Sorrows, Southeast Portland. He has previously served at St. John the Baptist, Milwaukie.

Father William Palmer

New assignment: Administrator, Sacred Heart, Newport/St. Mary Siletz
Previous assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Mary, Eugene

Father Palmer was born in 1960 in Cottage Grove. He graduated from Cottage Grove High School in 1978. He received a bachelor of arts in religious studies from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukie, Wisconsin in 2003. That year, he also earned a master of divinity degree from the Sacred Heart School of Theology.
He was ordained in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas in 2003. His last assignment was as pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in Malakoff, Texas.


Father Eric Andersen

New assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Stephen, Portland
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, Holy Trinity Church, Bandon

Father Andersen was born in 1967. He attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theater in 1990. He completed a master’s degree and a sacred theology bachelor’s degree at Mount Angel Seminary and was ordained in 2009 by Archbishop John Vlazny.
He has served at Our Lady of the Mountain in Ashland, Christ the King in Milwaukie, St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie, St. Cecilia in Beaverton, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Verboort, Sacred Heart in Medford, St. Mary in Eugene and Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais.

Father Scott Baier

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Luke, Woodburn.
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Baier was born in 1978 in Edmonds, Wash. His family moved to the Portland area in 1983 and he graduated from Columbia River High School in 1996. He went on to study at the University of Washington in Seattle, doing a year’s study in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked for several companies, including Catholic Community Services, St. Luke Productions and Safeway.

Father Baier entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2008. His pastoral assignments have included St. Philip Benizi Parish in Redland and The Madeleine Parish in Portland. He studied in Mexico and Costa Rica, and went through chaplain training at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. As a deacon he has served at St. Alexander Parish in Cornelius and St. Luke Parish in Woodburn.

Father Manuel Becerra

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Anthony, Tigard
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Becerra was born in 1977 in Cúcuta, Colombia. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Cúcuta, graduating from high school in 1995. He studied at the Universidad Francisco de Paul Santander in Cúcuta and the Universidad Minuto de Dios in Bogota. Rev. Mr. Becerra studied at the Congregation of Jesus and Mary Seminary in Bogota, and began studying for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2010, at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif. His ministry training assignments have included St. Luke Parish, Woodburn and clinical pastoral education at St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash. He has also served at Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Lake Oswego, St. Anthony Parish, Forest Grove, St. Edward Parish, North Plains, and St. Joseph Parish, Mountain View, Calif.

Father Fredy Bonilla

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Vincent de Paul, Salem
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Bonilla was born in 1982 in La Argentina, Colombia. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Al Argentina, graduating high school in 2001. He earned a degree in philosophy from Sepavi School in Medellin in 2004. He then attended the seminary Villa Paúl in Funza, Colombia, earning a theology degree in 2008. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2011 and has been serving at The Madeleine Parish in Northeast Portland.

Father Gregg Bronsema

New Assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Thomas More, Portland, July 1-Sept. 15
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Bronsema was born in 1956 in Chicago. He graduated from Portland Christian High School in 1975 then earned an architecture degree at the University of Oregon. He graduated in 1986 from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. and ministered at Portland Foursquare Church from 1986 to 1993. He worked for Christian Supply Center in Portland until his entrance into Mount Angel Seminary for pre-theology studies in 2009. He completed the bachelor’s degree in theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 2014.

Father Timothy Furlow

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Juan Diego, Portland, July 1-Sept. 15
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Furlow was born in 1982 in Portland. He attended Holy Trinity School in Beaverton and graduated from a homeschool program in 2000. He attended the University of Portland from 2000-’02 before moving to Azerbaijan to teach English. In 2004, he began studies at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy in 2007. That same year he began youth ministry work at St. Cecilia Parish in Beaverton, where he worked until entering Mount Angel Seminary in 2010. He transferred to Pontifical North American College in Rome, earning a baccalaureate in sacred theology in 2013. He has been pursuing a licentiate in moral theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Father George Kuforiji

New assignment: Parochial vicar, Holy Trinity, Bandon/St. John, Port Orford.
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Kuforiji was born in 1951 in Oshogbo, Nigeria. He attended elementary school at St. Benedict School in Oshogbo and graduated from St. Joseph College High School in Ondo in 1969. He studied at the University of Washington in Seattle, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1983. Prior to entering the seminary, he worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation. He entered the seminary in 2010, and was installed as a lector and an acolyte in 2013. He studied theology at the Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. His ministry training has included assignments at St. Vincent Church in Salem, St. Francis of Assisi in Milwaukee, Wis., and chaplain’s training at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, Wash.

Father Julio Cesar Torres Montejo

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Anthony, Tigard
Previous Assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Joseph, Salem

Father Montejo was born in Cardenas, Tabasco, Mexico in 1982. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Aqua Dulce, Veracruz, Mexico, graduating high school in 2000. He studied at the Major Seminary of Mary Immaculate earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2004 and a bachelor’s degree in theology in 2007. He earned a master of divinity from the Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., in 2014. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Sample in 2014.
His ministry training includes a pastoral year at St. John the Apostle Parish in Oregon City.

Father Leonard Omolo, ALCP

New assignment: Parochial vicar, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Albany
Previous Assignment: Parochial vicar, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Portland

Father Omolo was born in 1972 in Kisumu, Kenya. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 2005. He was ordained in 2007 in the Archdiocese of Kisumu for the order of the Apostolic Life Community of Priests Holy Spirit Fathers. He spent a year and a half in his last assignment as assistant priest in Rombo, Tanzania for the Diocese of Moshi.

Father Edgar Rivera

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Mary, Eugene.
He was ordained June 5 by Archbishop Alexander Sample.

Father Rivera was born in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, in 1981. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Tepic, graduating high school in 1998. He attended the Universidad Autonoma de Nayarit in Tepic, where he earned a degree in accounting in 2004. He entered the Seminario Hispano de Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Mexico City in 2004. He attended the Instituto de Estudios Ecclesiasticos where he earned a degree in philosophy in 2007. He later enrolled at Mount Angel Seminary. His ministry training has included an assignment at St. Luke Parish, Woodburn, clinical pastoral education in Washington, D.C, and a pastoral year at St. Edward Parish, North Plains and at St. Alexander, Cornelius.

Father Edwin Sanchez

New assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph, Salem.
He was ordained on June 5 by Archbishop Sample.

Father Sanchez was born in 1985 in Bogota, Colombia. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Pitalito, Huila, Colombia, graduating high school in 2002. He entered the Seminary Maria Immaculada where he studied philosophy. He attended St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2010. He continued his studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary.

Father Ben Tapia

New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Henry, Gresham
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Edward, North Plains

Father Tapia was born in 1982 in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Tijuana, graduating in 2000 and studied at the Instituto Superior de Estudios Ecleciasticos, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2004. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., where he earned a master’s degree in spirituality in 2011 and a master of divinity degree in 2012.

His ministry has included work with a youth group in Mexico City, working with the poor in Colombia, at Queen of Peace in Salem, as a Jesuit Volunteer in Spain, at St. Patrick in Carlsbad, Calif., at Sharp Mercy Hospital in San Diego, at St. James in Solana Beach, Calif. and at St. John Eudes in Chatsworth, Calif.
He was ordained by Archbishop Vlazny at St. Mary Cathedral in 2012.
He has previously served at St. Edward, North Plains, St. Alexander, Cornelius, and Sacred Heart, Medford.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Nigerian Bishop Says Christ Showed Him How to Beat Islamic Terror Group

A bishop in Nigeria says praying the Rosary will defeat Boko Haram, following an alleged vision of Christ


 by Ryan Fitzgerald  •   April 21, 2015  

Filed Under: Boko Haram, Muslims, Terrorism
UPDATE—April 28, 2015

Video courtesy of Catholic News Agency:
Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, head of the Diocese of Maiduguri in Nigeria's Borno State, was in a chapel praying before the Blessed Sacrament last December when, he says, something extraordinary happened: Jesus Christ appeared holding a sword, which He offered to the prelate.
According to Bishop Dashe, the moment he took the sword from Jesus' hands, it transformed into Rosary beads. He then heard Christ repeat three times, “Boko Haram is gone.”
The bishop recalls, “I didn't need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the Rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.”
Boko Haram is the Islamic group that's been massacring Christian civilians in Nigeria and beyond for several years. It originally was tied to Al Quaeda, but now formally pledges allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Bishop Doeme says he's seen the size of his diocese cut in half since Boko Haram started ramping up its violent activity in 2009. Most fled for safer grounds.
“Despite all this,” the Nigerian prelate says, “we do not give up our public witness to our faith.” He affirms, “I wear my episcopal robes publicly, because on the day I agreed to be bishop I knew I was signing my death sentence.”
Boko Haram has reportedly been used in the recent past as a bargaining tool by the United States. Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo, Nigeria states, “The United States actually said it would help Nigeria with Boko Haram only if we modify our laws concerning homosexuality, family planning and birth control.”
Bishop Dashe also has problems with the West, which he notes isn't free of problems itself. “In Europe and America you have your own demons: abortion, homosexual pseudo-marriage and secularism.”
The bishop hesitated in the beginning to tell anyone about the apparition, but soon began getting strong urges from the Holy Spirit to share its message. So he started to tell priests in his diocese what happened. Eventually, he announced it at a Catholic event in Spain supporting Christian victims of Islamic violence.
He's since gone on a “consolation tour” through diocesan communities, promoting prayer, forgiveness and persistent faith. He believes Jesus wants him to advocate praying the Rosary in order to assist them in these efforts.
“Maybe that’s why He did it,” Bishop Dashe remarks about the apparition.
“Our faith is unwavering,” he remarks. “Even when they suffer killings, Christians still go to church, and Christian activities in public life continue.”
Continuing, the bishop declares, “They can destroy our buildings and our lives, but they cannot destroy our faith in Christ.”

He expresses further confidence in the intercession of Blessed “Mamma Mary” toward instilling a peaceful recovery of his diocese.
His country's bishops have already jointly consecrated Nigeria to Our Lady in recent years.
“Boko Haram is evil, demonic, and can only be removed through prayer,” Bishop Dashe says.
Citing Jesus' words in the apparition, he insists that no matter how long it takes, with faith in the Most Holy Rosary, “Boko Haram is gone.”

Ryan Fitzgerald is a staff writer and producer for ChurchMilitant.com
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanFitz1111


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Oregon Tax Court Approves Taxation Of Church Rectory - Forbes Magazine

Oregon Tax Court Approves Taxation Of Church Rectory
by Peter J. Reilly June 2, 2015

As a kid I remember being fascinated by a door in the side of the sanctuary at St. John’s Church in Fairview, NJ. It was very mysterious. Only the priests ever used it.  The explanation was pretty mundane.  There was an enclosed walkway over the driveway between the church and the rectory.
Father John Tran of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Astoria Oregon doesn’t have a sweet deal like that.  His rectory is about a mile and a half from the church.  And that arrangement may be what had the parish in the Oregon Tax Court facing the Clatsop County Assessor.  Following what I have come to believe is the assessor’s code “When in doubt, tax it”, the parish had not been granted a property tax exemption for the rectory.

What Makes A Rectory A Rectory?
There is  little that shocks me and I can’t say that this case is an exception, but I do find it rather surprising. The Oregon Tax Court ended up approving the assessor’s denial of the exemption.
Father Todd Molinari , Vicar for Clergy of the Archdiocese of Portland testified about rectories.
Molinari testified that there has been Canon Law regarding rectories for centuries. Canon Law 533 requires priests to reside in a rectory near the church they serve.  According to that law, “[a] pastor is obliged to reside in a rectory near the church.” Molinari testified that that requirement is interpreted as requiring a rectory “within the territory of the church parish.” Molinari testified that a priest is given an endowment for an entire territory; the rectory enables the priest to faithfully execute his ministry duties within his assigned territory. Molinari testified that the rectory has to be within a “reasonable distance” to the church so the priest can facilitate his ministry, but because the priest has to be available to his parishioners, the rectory must be within a reasonable distance to the parishioners as well.
He began by explaining that the Church operates under the concept of “sustenance,” which means the local parish has to provide for the basic necessities of its priest. The particular requirements within a given archdiocese are usually spelled out in the policies of that archdiocese. The rectory must be within a reasonable distance to the church facilities, and provide a place for the priest to sleep, cook his meals, do his laundry, and have an area for study. The rectory must also have space for an assistant priest in the event there is one, and for seminarians studying for the priesthood who would be given a temporary assignment at a rectory. The rectory must also have space for visiting priests. The rectory is to be used for the purposes of the priest’s ministry.
St. Mary’s Star Of The Sea And Father Tran

Apparently the Parish covers rather a large area – over 360 square miles. I guess Catholics are thinner on the ground out there than they were in Bergen County in the sixties. St. John’s covered less than two square miles and had three full time priests supplemented by a Dominican who did the late masses on Sunday.  Besides the regular parish church St. Mary’s has  a “mission” where services are held to make it easier on people who live too far from the main parish.

The property in dispute is the third rectory that has been owned by the parish.  The original rectory, next to the church, was converted to administrative space and one within walking distance had been sold due to problems with heating and being too small to host guests.

Father Tran also testified.
The testimony seems to indicate that he was pretty much using the rectory, like, you know, a rectory.
Tran testified that the subject rectory in Astoria is a two story structure with a kitchen, a dining room, a study room, and a space on the other side of the kitchen area where Tran can visit with guests; it also has a master bedroom upstairs, two guest bedrooms, and a bonus room over the garage where Tran works on all church decorations needed for children to attend school mass. Tran testified on cross-examination that he uses the rectory as his full-time personal residence. Tran sleeps in the master bedroom. Tran testified that one of the guest bedrooms is used by visiting priests. He did not provide any specifics about such visits; how often they occur, how long a visiting priest stays, etc.
Tran testified that he prepares his own meals in the kitchen, and prepares meals for other church related visitors when they stay at the rectory. Tran later described the study as his library, explaining that he has a desk and bookcases in that room. Tran testified that he prepares sermons and homilies at the rectory. Tran testified that it takes him less than five minutes to get from the rectory to the parish by car.
The Decision
It probably has to do with my upbringing, but that assessor would not have done that well if I was the judge.  Of course, Magistrate Dan Robinson had to consider the actual law and everything, while I’m just looking at how this could be an updated version of Going My Way

The exemption for property owned by religious organization covers
houses of public worship and other additional buildings and property used solely for administrative, education, literary, benevolent, charitable, entertainment and recreational purposes by religious organizations, the lots on which they are situated, and the pews, slips and furniture therein. However, any part of any house of public worship or other additional buildings or property which is kept or used ***** for any purpose other than those stated in this section shall be assessed and taxed the same as other taxable property
When it comes to residences for clergy case law has evolved a two-prong test.  The official living in the residence must be required to live there by either church doctrine or practical necessity and the proximity of the residence to the house of worship must be necessary to further religious objectives.
The Oregon Tax Court saw the proximity as not being necessary to further religious objectives.
Although Tran does write sermons and homilies at the rectory, those duties do not require close physical proximity to the church. Tran could prepare those messages anywhere in Astoria, including the church, where he has at least one office. The other uses of the rectory have no direct connection to the church; they certainly do not require a rectory in close proximity to the church. There was generalized testimony about the availability of guest bedrooms for visiting priests, deacons, and seminarians, but no specific testimony or other evidence that such officials have stayed at the subject property and, if so, how many and how often they were there. Assuming such church officials did in fact visit and stay overnight at the rectory, they could have slept in a residence anywhere in Astoria, regardless of its location with respect to the church.
Tran testified he teaches members of the Domus Dei Order at the rectory on a monthly basis. That presents several questions. The Domus Dei Order is in Washougal, Washington, and there is no evidence it is part of the Portland archdiocese territory. If it is not, Plaintiff has not established how their visitations to the rectory in Astoria further the religious aims of St. Mary Church. Tran’s duties, according to his supervisor Molinari, are to his parishioners. The relationship between the parishioners and members of Domus Dei is unclear. In any event, Tran could teach the members of the Domus Dei Order at the church or any residence, regardless of its location with respect to the church. There is simply no evidence that the proximity of the rectory to the church is necessary to further the church’s religious objectives with regard to Tran’s involvement with Domus Dei, or that such involvement directly benefits the parishioners in any way. Tran does meet with his parishioners, but those meetings are all scheduled to take place at the church.
More Property Tax Coming For Oregon Catholic Parishes?
The decision closes with a somewhat ominous note.
Plaintiff argued in closing that all Catholic rectories in the Portland archdiocese are exempt. That may be true, but there is not a specific statutory grant of exemption for Catholic rectories. They are exempt if they meet the applicable legal standards, which is the reason actual use of the property must be examined in each case.
It would seem that many church rectories or parsonages, to use the homey American term, would flunk the test laid out by the Oregon Tax Court.  It will be interesting to see whether this becomes a trend. Parsonages have fallen out of favor with many Protestant denominations where the big tax subsidy is the federal income tax break that exempts cash paid for housing allowances from income tax.  The dubious constitutionality of that provision has avoided scrutiny thanks to rulings on nobody having standing to object to it.

The last time this former altar boy tax blogger looked at a tax case involving a Catholic parish was back in 2012, when I wrote about Saint Frances X. Cabrini parish in Scituate, Mass.  The Archdiocese lost the property tax exemption for the property because the parish was being closed and parishioners have been occupying it, which is not an exempt purpose. According to Reuters, the parishioners have been ordered by the Norfolk County Superior Court to vacate by June 5.  The vigil has been going on for over a decade, so there may be some drama if it really does end this week.

The original version of this post contained a link to the biography of a different Father Tran.  See comments.
(VOCAL - look at comments in link above.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Follow-up: CRS official resigns weeks after report he was in same-sex marriage.

There are many answers that Catholics need to ask when donating their hard-earned money to "Catholic" Relief Services, "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development and "Catholic" Charities.

When a Catholic identity is absent in hiring people, giving thousands of dollars to anti-Catholic groups as CCHD does, do we have a right for a disclaimer so groups that upheld the teachings of our Church get money we want directed as a donation to our Church?

 I believe this is the tip of the iceberg.  A simple phone call to these agencies stating that no more "Catholic" money will be donated until this disclaimer is honored will help the Church not to work against Herself.

Catholic News Service
VOCAL added picture
WASHINGTON — A veteran Catholic Relief Services financial official has resigned in the wake of report that he was in a same-sex marriage.

Rick Estridge, vice president for overseas finance, stepped down after 16 years with the U.S. bishops' overseas aid and development agency, saying "it was the right decision for me."
CRS announced Estridge's resignation in a statement emailed to Catholic News Service June 3. The agency described Estridge as a "valued employee."

"Because of the stress this situation has caused Mr. Estridge and his family, he has made the decision to leave CRS," the statement said.

The statement also said that Estridge entered into a same-sex civil marriage in 2013.

The resignation comes six weeks after Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, posted an unofficial copy of a marriage record from the state of Maryland indicating Estridge's date of marriage, the name of his spouse and their residence.

Hichborn's report included social media posts attributed to Estridge in which the former CRS official supported gay rights and same-sex marriage legislation.

"Given his position and his lifestyle, I don't think he belonged in a Catholic agency," Hichborn told CNS June 3 after the resignation was announced.

Catholic teaching holds that marriage is between one man and one woman.

In an interview posted May 18 on the website of Aleteia, a Rome-based worldwide network that shares faith resources, Carolyn Woo, CEO and president of CRS, said the agency was reviewing Estridge's situation.

"We're also dealing with a new intersection between, in this case, state law and church teaching where the practice is being defined," she said.

Estridge thanked CRS leadership "for providing me with the space to make this determination during this difficult time," in the agency statement. "I continue to have full faith in CRS' leadership and the organization as a whole. I thank my team and the global finance community for their hard work and dedication and have every belief that they will continue to serve with excellence."

CRS commended Estridge for his work with the agency over the years. "He has done a tremendous job during his years at CRS and will be missed. We are grateful that he has agreed to be available as needed for consultation to ensure a smooth transition," the statement said.

The agency said that Estridge was not Catholic and he held a position that did not involve mission-related decisions and thus did not have to be held by a Catholic.

"CRS also want to express its strong objection to these types of attacks and tactics of the groups which launch them," without identifying Hichborn or the institute. "The highly personal public critique broadcast Mr. Estridge's home address and used derogatory terms that are now part of the online record. This has caused great pain for many people."

The agency said it remained committed to treating people with "the respect and compassion they deserve as children of God."

"We detest hurtful campaigns that do not build up, but undermine, individuals and church agencies carrying out the mission of bringing the love of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering," the statement added."

Hichborn was unapologetic in his response to the resignation, saying that he believed that any Catholic organization should never hire anyone who is not Catholic.

"The people (employed) really need to be practicing the faith," he told CNS. "I think any Catholic apostolate needs to be Catholic in its employees and its mission. It's not an industry. It's not just a job. People need to be Catholic."

Hichborn, who said he was the Lepanto Institute's only employee, said he was simply presenting facts about Estridge that he uncovered after receiving a tip.

"There's no judgment here," he said. "It's a matter of fact. He (Estridge) is living a life that is antithetical of Catholic teaching."

Hichborn also said that Estridge's skills will allow him to find work quickly.

"I will say I wish Mr. Estridge well. I hope he does repent of the lifestyle he is living. I'm sorry that the way he was living was not in line with Catholic teaching."