Wednesday, September 14, 2016

AND IT BEGINS: The Election of 2016 - The Archdpdx OCC Agent's Response to Questions.

And it begins:  I emailed Bill Allen.  He is listed as a volunteer for the Oregon Catholic Conference (OCC). He was the only contact.  Bishop Peter Smith was listed as Secretary/Tresurer.

Here is the response.

Sent: Monday, August 29, 2016 1:27 PM
To: Allen, Bill
Subject: Election


I was wondering if there was anything from the Archdiocese to help Oregon Catholics who to vote for President this election? 

There are certain things that Catholics need from the Archdiocese to make a decision.

The "seamless garment" thought/heresy as it makes giving money to the less fortunate as critical as abortion a child.

We really don't have much time to educate on this issue. 

The Peace and Justice Ministry is pushing this "heresy" in equating some issues that are not the issues of abortion and euthanasia in protecting our brothers and sisters against.

Please let me know if there is any movement at all.  Maybe I'm just missing something.


Carolyn Wendell

"Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for your e-mail.

The U.S. Bishops recently revised the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”.  The document lays out the primary principles that Catholics should consider when voting.  You can find it online, along with other good resources at: .

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

In the peace of Christ,                                                                                


Todd Cooper                                                                      

Department Director

Special Ministries of the Archbishop

Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

Representative, Oregon Catholic Conference"

Having more questions I continued:

Thanks for getting back to me.  Just for point of inquiry, are you telling me that there is no Oregon Catholic Conference and that you and Matt Cato are the only ones that speak for the OCC and not Bill Allen or Bishop Smith?
The Faithful Citizenship info on the USCCB website is very confusing.  Wouldn't it be better to mention on "our" website the guidelines of not voting for intrinsic evils of abortion or euthanasia?  Feeding the hungry are not equal with these, even if there was a candidate, let's say, for President. 
Pointing out those qualities of each party would be very helpful since people's souls are a stake.  Don't you agree?


Here is his response.  Many people have said that Matt Cato as agent had a "seamless garment" attitude and paraphrasing an Oregon Catholic,  Matt Cato said regarding the Life issues, "Oregon Right to Life can do the life issues".  Just ask him about them he is totally "Peace and Justice". The "Life" was added, in my opinion the make pro-lifers, "feel good".  And also save money. We need transparency and justice for the pro-lifers. But I digress.

Since Todd Cooper and Matt Cato are agents of  the Bishops, he continues:

Dear Carolyn,

The Oregon Catholic Conference is made up of the bishops in Oregon, including Archbishop Sample, Bishop Cary, and Bishop Smith.  I serve as representative of the OCC.  Matt Cato is on the OCC advisory committee.  Bill Allen works as a volunteer, assisting me with the work of the OCC and with other projects.  It is the bishops who speak for the OCC.  The rest of us serve as their agents.

Regarding the information on the USCCB website, if you find it confusing, I recommend reading in its entirety the recently revised edition of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.  The document lays out the principles by which Catholics can form their consciences and faithfully exercise their political responsibility.  This includes voting in good conscience.

A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who supports a policy that promotes intrinsic evil – if the voter’s intent is to support that position.  At the same time, a Catholic should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference to other important moral issues related to human life and dignity.

The challenge for Catholics is to allow their Catholic faith to inform their politics.  In the case of many, it is their politics that inform their Catholic faith. 

The Church respects freedom of conscience.  The US bishops do not tell Catholics which candidates or parties to support.  They simply give guidelines that help Catholics develop a well-formed conscience so that they can make well informed decisions and participate responsibly in political life.

Hope these thoughts are helpful.

In the peace of Christ,


Todd Cooper

Oregon Catholic Conference

The response will be posted soon.  Any comments from you would be welcome. 




Tony said...

Good job, Carolyn!!

VOCAL said...

Thank you Tony.

It has bothered me for decades that Catholic Collection plate money is used to pay for the heresy of the "seamless garment". Hopefully, Archbishop Sample will hire men/women that understand about the what an intrinsic evil is and why it is more important than funding someone.

God Bless and thanks for all you do,

Carol said...

My dear Carolyn. - May God bless and protect your work as a member of the Church Militant. Love you... Carol

VOCAL said...

Thanks Carol. I have been communicating with Todd Cooper for over a decade, I believe and Matt Cato since 2007. They are like brick walls and is so condescending. My goodness.

Matt Cato has no idea about "life" issues, except peace and justice life issues. They both need "intrinsic evil sensitivity training".

My, that might be a good post.

Davis Wenbil said...

I'll bet pro-lifers give more $$ to poor people than "pro-choicers". I can't stand this propaganda stereotype of pro-lifers as being selfish and judgemental. What a crock !The bottom line: If you kill the baby before it is born, you won't even get the chance to help feed, shelter and clothe the born child. I'll vote for the candidate who is the most pro-life, even though not perfect in other areas. That will be following my own conscience and I believe it will be what Jesus wants me to do. Which candidate for the President will appoint Supreme Court Justices who are more to your liking ?

Josh said...


I can't speak of Matto Cato, but I take exception to your description of Todd Cooper. In all my interactions with him, he is always an upright and trustworthy individual. I don't know what other conversations you have had with him, but nothing in the comments you posted here came across as condescending.

In reading this correspondence, it seems to me you're fishing to get him to say something that you can use as a news headline. Whether that is your intention or not, I can only presume Todd received similarly, and as such is going to be guarded with his language.

The man is a layman in service of his bishop-- He responds to your question, "Here is what the bishop has taught on the matter." Would you prefer his response to be, "Ignore what the bishops said, here is what *I* have to say."

You're setting up for a situation he can't win, and then get frustrated when he won't take the bait.

Just my $0.02.

VOCAL said...


Todd Cooper and I have known each other since 2003. He once said "Things are different in Portland", when asked about the issues of abortion, active homosexuality especially.

All I wanted was for him to ask the bishop, if he's his agent, about Cardinal Bernardin's "seamless garment" issue where this man is trying to dumb down the Catholic Church.

Todd gets paid from collection plate money, as you do, and he can answer his own questions.

You don't know me and it degrades you to answer for him.