Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, February 10, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Local
3/18/2013 11:30:00 AM
Approaching justice with balance
Catholic News Service photo
Dolores Leckey, senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and Archbishop Vlazny sing a hymn at the opening of a national consultation in Chicago on women in the church and society in 2001.
Catholic News Service photo
Dolores Leckey, senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and Archbishop Vlazny sing a hymn at the opening of a national consultation in Chicago on women in the church and society in 2001.

+ view more photos
Bishop Vlazny receives miter, 1983.

It soon became clear that Archbishop John Vlazny was not partisan, but instead a man who takes a balanced and prayerful stance by way of promoting justice and peace.

When terrorists seized jetliners and crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, he was at a committee meeting in Washington, D.C. He phoned Portland to report that he was unharmed. Then he asked Catholics to pray and work for a peaceful resolution.

Once U.S. forces started bombing Afghanistan, the archbishop asked Catholics to refrain from passing judgment on those who made the decision.

“It is a time for prayer, support and concern for our fellow citizens who are called upon to protect a people in a time of trouble,” he wrote.

By 2002, the archbishop was among the 25 Oregon religious leaders who signed a statement challenging the U.S. push toward war in Iraq.

“We believe that preemptive, unilateral military action towards any nation is not consistent with U.S. and U.N. policy and would set an unsettling precedent for other nations,” said the statement. “We are opposed to any action that would result in civilian casualties and further victimize the innocent people of Iraq, who have already suffered more than two decades of war and economic deprivation.”

In March 2003, Oregon Catholics joined the faithful around the world in offering millions of prayers for a quick end to the Iraq war. “War has begun; our most powerful weapon is prayer,” Archbishop Vlazny said. “We pray for peace as well as for our many brothers and sisters at war in Iraq. We pray for a speedy peace and a healthy reconciliation.”

The archbishop received an award from the Oregon National Guard in recognition of his support for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.

Archbishop Vlazny’s compassionate approach served well on other issues. In 2003, he opened the cathedral for an annual Mass in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  

“Seeking justice is seeking the establishment of right relationships between ourselves and our God, our sisters and brothers in the human family, and all of creation,” he said in his homily. “Those who take the quest seriously learn, like Dr. King, that whatever does affect one directly, affects all indirectly.”

He met with African-American Catholics to hear their concerns and encourage their ministry.

“We preachers and teachers over the past four decades have still not convincingly addressed the sin of racism nor confronted our negligence in demanding the eradication of all racist attitudes and actions, even from the institutions for which we are responsible,” he had written in 1999.  

During the hot summer of 2001, Archbishop Vlazny spoke out for farmworkers as they marched through western Oregon to highlight their cause. True to his sense of fairness, the archbishop also had farmers’ concerns at heart.

“We cannot continue to demand cheap berries and other produce at the expense of growers and workers,” he said, calling on everyone to work for a sustainable economy.

The archbishop’s concerns for immigrants endured.

In June 2007, he denounced a federal immigration raid on a North Portland business, calling it “an affront to a nation whose tradition has always welcomed the stranger.” Calling for a moratorium on raids until national immigration reform is complete, the archbishop said the arrests tear families apart.

Over the past four years, he has urged Oregon’s U.S. senators to “reject restrictionist and narrow, enforcement-only proposals, in favor of reforms that will comprehensively address our broken immigration system.”

Church involvement in environmental justice entered a new phase when Archbishop Vlazny and other bishops of the Pacific Northwest released a pastoral letter on the Columbia River watershed in 2001. An unprecedented project, the letter challenged readers to promote sustainable environmental relationships while developing community economic benefits.

The document is still being discussed and invoked when, for example, a team of students from the University of Portland clears invasive plants from a local riverbank so trees can grow and help cool the water — and perhaps the planet.

In a Catholic Sentinel column, the archbishop praised a new building at Holy Redeemer School in Portland, built to high environmental standards. In 2006, he pointed out the dangers of global warming. He called on Catholics to be prudent stewards of God’s “very precious gift.”

He promoted other environmentally sound buildings, hybrid cars and forms of energy like wind, hydrogen, solar and biomass.

The archbishop met with theologians, scientists, environmentalists, business people and students at the University of Portland to discuss the links between environment and theology, bringing concern for the earth into Catholic social doctrine.  

As a member of a bishops’ committee, he helped create a statement affirming the dignity of all persons, including those with disabilities. The statement urges parishes to make themselves more accessible and recognize and appreciate contributions of people with disabilities. He also became the regular celebrant of an annual Mass on World AIDS Awareness Day.

In addition to speaking out for the vulnerable, he acted. He sponsored a Bolivian child, quietly blessed disabled children from Spanish-speaking families in Cornelius and made regular prison visits, even confirming a death row inmate.

At a University of Portland conference on faith and life in 2005, he told worshipers, “Whenever we extend love, peace, compassion, forgiveness and support to those who have done nothing to deserve them, then we ‘get it’ as far as Jesus is concerned.”  

The past year saw a federal health mandate eat at religious liberty. Even so close to his departure, Archbishop Vlazny took on this justice issue with zeal.

“Obviously we cannot and will not comply with such an unjust law,” he wrote. “We have been made second-class citizens and it is imperative that we regain our religious freedom.”

In his columns, he also spoke out for just wages, the right to unionize, and more leadership among laywomen and women religious in the church. He championed AIDS patients and low-income people.    

“We Catholics can be rightly proud of our church’s social teaching,” he wrote in 2008. “Over the years it has been recognized by people both within and outside the church as a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness in the midst of all the challenges of today’s modern world.”







Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved