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 : Faith/Spirituality : Archbishop Vlazny's Past Columns
8/21/2012 8:41:00 AM
Every Four Years

Most Rev. John Vlazny
Archbishop Emeritus of Portland


It’s Leap Year.  Not only do we have an extra day, Feb. 29, every Leap Year, we also have three significant summer occurrences that come around every Leap Year. The first just ended, the Summer Olympics, which were held in London this year, were a huge success. Fortunately I was on vacation during the Olympics and I saw much more than I typically would. The Brits were proud of themselves and deservedly so.  We Americans were also proud of ourselves. Our young athletes were quite successful and all of us here in the archdiocese were especially proud of Central Catholic grad, Galen Rupp, who won the silver medal in the 10,000 meter race.

The other two events are coming up in the next two weeks.  They are the national conventions of the two major political parties in this country.  In the good old days these were the occasions for choosing nominees for national office.  The choices have already been made so the conventions are opportunities for each party to showcase their nominees and to try to convince the voting public that their proposals for government are best for the nation.   Eventually the voters will decide in November who will be our leaders.  Preparing to vote is an important responsibility, just as important as voting itself.  In these critical days we dare not take such responsibilities too lightly.

There is no political party that embraces the full gambit of Catholic social teaching. There are those who are unhappy with the church’s teachings about the gospel of life, the sacredness of marriage, the appropriateness of bringing ethics into consideration when dealing with human sexual activity. Others are displeased when the church talks about justice for immigrants or the importance of maintaining a safety net for the poor and needy of our nation. “The church is easy when we are hard and the church is hard when we are easy.”  That’s how it was with Jesus. That’s how it is with the prophetic ministry of the church these days.

As we do look forward to the elections in November, first and foremost, I encourage every single Catholic who is of voting age to make sure he or she votes. It is not a difficult activity, especially here in Oregon, when we all can vote at our convenience by mail. We appropriately restrict the right to vote to citizens.  Many non-citizens, who are significantly affected by the outcome of elections, would love to vote. Why in the world would anyone decide to let such a golden opportunity to have a say in promoting good governance go by the boards? Effective democracy requires responsibility on the part of all citizens.  Christian discipleship demands that you and I fulfill our responsibilities as citizens of this land.

But preparing to vote is also very important.  Many matters that are brought to a vote, in my judgment, probably don’t belong on the ballot.  Too many of us remain uninformed and we make a guess about the way we should vote.  But choosing our national leadership should never be a matter of guessing.  We all have an opportunity to become acquainted with the major candidates and to learn their positions about current fundamental issues.  There is no excuse for voting for someone simply because of a person’s appearance, eloquence or debatesmanship.  “Gotcha” is a gimmick unworthy of good governance.  

Many people have been complaining about the attack mode which major candidates seem to be adopting in recent political campaigns, including the current one.  I myself am sometimes frustrated, but then I stop and think, “Well, sad but true, attack ads seem to work!  Politicians are not dumb.  They will speak to the electorate in terms that stir up visceral hostilities towards opposing candidates.”  The prevailing philosophy seems to be that whatever works is legitimate, be it fair play or foul play.  Let’s not criticize the politicians in this matter.  Let’s look into our own hearts and see what it is that attracts us to what is negative and turns us away from making an honest appraisal of the positive proposals from all sides.

Every four years we bishops of the United States offer some guidelines for Catholics to help form their consciences when it comes to voting.  The document is somewhat lengthy and pastors tell me very few people take the time to read it.  As a result our Peace and Justice Office this year came up with a summary document that is both reader and voter friendly.  If it hasn’t been made available in your parish by your pastor, please ask for a copy.  It is also available online at the archdiocesan website.

In that document we stress some significant issues that are important topics in the present election.  They are matters about which you ought to make sure you understand where every candidate stands, especially candidates for national office.  They are as follows:

• Abortion and other threats to the lives and dignity of the vulnerable, sick or unwanted
• Threats to religious freedom by efforts to force Catholic ministries – in health care, education and social services – to violate their consciences or stop serving those in need
• Efforts to redefine marriage and enact messages which undermine marriage as the permanent, faithful and fruitful union of one man and one woman
• The economic crisis which has devastated lives and livelihoods, increasing national and global unemployment, poverty, and hunger, increasing deficits and debt and the duty to respond in ways which protect those who are poor and vulnerable as well as future generations
• War, terror and violence which raise serious moral questions on the use of force and its human and moral costs
• A broken immigration system

In dealing with all these important matters, there are some things we must never do, acts that are intrinsically evil in themselves, such as the intentional taking of human life through abortion or assisted suicide.  It is also totally inappropriate for a Catholic to be a single-issue voter.  But when it comes to a candidate’s support for an action that involves an intrinsic evil, certainly this would legitimately lead a voter to disqualify such a candidate from receiving his or her support.  

The coming months are important for the future of our nation and our world.  Democracy will only work if all citizens take seriously their responsibility for choosing the right leaders and promoting justice and peace for everyone.  The conventions these next two weeks sometimes come across as pure entertainment.  For the wise and discerning voter, they are educational opportunities as we prepare to vote next November.  Let’s pray every day in the coming months, much like Kate Smith did of old, “God Bless America.”



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