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Bishop Questions USCCB Affiliations

Bishop Robert Vasa Is Troubled With
Reports Where USCCB Money Is Supporting Homosexual and Abortion Rights

Bishop Vasa is on a roll.  His ability to faithfully and charitably fulfill the spiritual work of mercy where one is called to admonish a sinner is making the news.  How you would hope and pray he didn’t need to admonish his fellow bishops or a Catholic hospital.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2010 ( – Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon has cautiously expressed concern after reports this week that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is listed as a member of a coalition that promotes homosexual “rights” and access to abortion.

In a Monday article, Deal Hudson of Inside Catholic pointed out the USCCB’s membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), focuses on issues like “LGBT rights.”  Hudson reveals, their website provides evidence of the organization’s deliberate thwarting of pro-life efforts and  their support for organizations and legislation that facilitate abortion.

Bishop Vasa told LifeSiteNews: “I am not well enough versed in the ‘politics’ of such associations to make any criticism of the motives or justifications which might be provided but, on the face of it, I would have to agree that support of this organization and an active endorsement of its principles and purposes would appear to be problematic.”

As Hudson reported, Lisa Haywood, LCCR’s membership services director, confirmed that members “must share LCCR’s principles and purposes.”  These include recognizing “equal rights, equal opportunities and equal justice” based on a number of grounds, including “sexual orientation.”

In fact, LCCR does actively promote homosexual “rights” and “marriage equality,” which includes opposing bans on same-sex “marriage.”

“Why did the bishops’ conference join this organization?” Hudson asks.  “When LCCHR staff sit in front of a member of Congress, they can legitimately say they are representing the Catholic bishops.”

USCCB Struggling To Get It Right

USCCB Struggling To Get It Right

Michael Hichborn of the American Life League (ALL), which is a member of the Reform CCHD Now (RCN) Coalition, told LSN, “I applaud Bishop Vasa for his courage in speaking out on this dangerous alliance, but also for his humility in proceeding cautiously.”

“His reaction is in stark contrast to that from bishops rushing to dismiss our well documented charges as ‘calumny’,” he added.

By Patrick B. Craine, with editing by John Quinn.

You Are Not A Catholic Hospital!!!

Bishop Robert Vasa Cuts Ties
With Catholic Hospital When They Refused
To Follow Catholic Teaching

“Comprehensive Health Care Services” Trumps The Teachings Of Christ

KTVZ.COM news: In “a difficult decision for all those involved,” the Bend-based Catholic Diocese of Baker announced Monday its intention to dissolve the official sponsorship relationship of St. Charles Medical Center-Bend by the Catholic Church over sterilization procedures performed at the hospital.

Recently, hospital administrators and Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker have respectfully disagreed on the meaning of some of those directives.

Bishop Robert Vasa Exercising Courage

Bishop Robert Vasa Exercising Courage Defending The Teachings of the Church

In particular, St. Charles-Bend offers patients the service of tubal ligations, a form of permanent female reproductive sterilization, which, according to Vasa, goes against the Church’s teachings.

“It is my responsibility to ensure the hospital is following Catholic principles both in name and in fact,” Vasa said. “It would be misleading for me to allow St. Charles Bend to be acknowledged as Catholic in name while I am certain that some important tenets of the Ethical and Religious Directives are no longer being observed.”

Vasa asked St. Charles Bend in 2007 for an audit of the hospital’s compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives. The hospital has been transparent about its practices and openly provided the Bishop with the information he requested. Since that time, the two parties have had a number of discussions about the future of the hospital as a Catholic institution.

“We are saddened by this decision because of the 92 years of history the St. Charles Bend hospital has had with the Catholic Church,” said James A. Diegel, FACHE, president and CEO of Cascade Health-care Community, the parent company of St. Charles-Bend. “But we have an obligation to provide comprehensive health care services to our patients while remaining true to our values of compassion and caring for all.”

Vasa has encouraged the hospital to stay as close to the Directives as possible in the future.

“St. Charles has gradually moved away from adherence to the requirements of the Church without a clear knowledge that it was doing so,” Vasa said. “Unfortunately, that distance is now too great to sustain a formal sponsorship relationship, but I believe that using the Church’s Directives as a basis for their local ethical guidelines is a good idea.”

Vasa and Diegel agreed that for all practical purposes ,very little will change at St. Charles Bend as a result of this decision. However, Catholic Mass will no longer be celebrated in the hospital’s chapel, and all items considered Catholic will be removed from the hospital and returned to the church.

Full article here:

What a sad day for the Church.

Catholic Excommunication Exposed

When Should Bishops Declare A
Catholic Excommunication

By Bishop Robert Vasa

Catholic Excommunication Exposed

Catholic Excommunication Exposed

BEND — During the course of this past year there have been a number of occasions when bishops have hinted to laity that being Catholic involves a bit more than claiming the title. This has been done, in  particular, with regard to politicians who may, in their own way, love Jesus, who may attend Sunday Mass and who do identify themselves as “faithful” Catholics. The press usually hints at the big “E” word, excommunication. The question of when a Catholic should be excommunicated has even been asked quite frequently and very seriously. While bishops are extremely reluctant to take the seemingly dramatic step of excommunication, I think there is very good reason for us to explore more thoroughly what excommunication really means and why it might be considered in certain circumstances.

The press would undoubtedly accuse Bishops who talk or even think about excommunication as being tyrannical power mongers but this is unfair.

  • Excommunication is a declaration, based on solid evidence, that the actions or public teachings of a particular Catholic are categorically incompatible with the teachings of the Church.

Why Catholic Excommunication?

  1. It is intended primarily as a means of getting the person who is in grave error to recognize the depth of his error and repent.
  2. While somewhat secondary but no less important, is to assure the faithful who truly are faithful that what they believe to be the teaching of the Church is true and correct.

Allowing their faith to be shaken or allowing them to be confused when Catholics publicly affirm something contrary to faith or morals, seemingly without consequences, scandalizes and confuses the faithful.

Scandalizing The Faithful Is Grave Matter

This scandalization is no small matter. The Church, and particularly bishops, have an obligation to defend the faith but they also have an obligation to protect the faithful. We do not generally see the dissidence of public figures as something that harms the faithful but it has a deleterious effect upon them.

How To Support Courageous Bishop

I find, very frequently, when I speak a bit more boldly on matters of morality or discipline, there are a significant number of the faithful who send messages of gratitude and support. It is their gratitude which stirs my heart for it makes me realize how much there is a need to support and affirm the clear and consistent teachings of our Catholic faith for the sake of the faithful. While the press may caricature such bishops in rather uncharitable fashion, I trust that they are men devoted to true compassion and to the truth itself.

The Fruits Of Courageous Bishops

Their compassion extends to those who are misled and to those who, while not misled, are discouraged when their faith is attacked without rebuttal. This discouragement of the faithful is not insignificant. When we look at the word itself we see that its root is “courage” and allowing someone’s courage to be dissipated, or “dissed” as the young might say, is harmful to the person.

  • Encouragement, by contrast, builds up the courage of the faithful and increases their strength for doing good.
  • It is life giving and revitalizing.
  • Allowing error, publicly expressed, to stand without comment or contradiction is discouraging.

Should Communion Be Denied?

When that moral error is espoused publicly by a Catholic who, by the likewise public and external act of receiving Holy Communion, appears to be in “good standing” then the faithful are doubly confused and doubly discouraged. In that case, the error is certainly not refuted. Furthermore, the impression is given that the error is positively condoned by the bishop and the Church. This is very discouraging to the faithful. In such a case, private “dialogue” is certainly appropriate but a public statement is also needed. In extreme cases, excommunication may be deemed necessary.

Catholics Excommunicate Themselves

It seems to me that even if a decree of excommunication would be issued, the bishop would really not excommunicate anyone. A Bishop only declares that the person is excommunicated by virtue of the person’s own actions. The actions and words, contrary to faith and morals, are what excommunicate (i.e. break communion with the Church). When matters are serious and public, the Bishop may deem it necessary to declare that lack of communion explicitly.

This declaration no more causes the excommunication than a doctor who diagnoses diabetes causes the diabetes he finds in his patient. The doctor recognizes the symptoms and writes the necessary prescription. Accusing the doctor of being a tyrannical power monger would never cross anyone’s mind. Even when the doctor tells the patient that they are “excommunicated” from sugar it is clear that his desire is solely the health of his patient. In fact, a doctor who told his diabetic patient that he could keep ingesting all the sugar he wanted without fear would be found grossly negligent and guilty of malpractice.

Before A Catholic Is Excommunicated

In the same way, bishops who recognize a serious spiritual malady and seek a prescription to remedy the error, after discussion and warning, may be required to simply state, “What you do and say is gravely wrong and puts you out of communion with the faith you claim to hold.” In serious cases, and the cases of misled Catholic public officials are often very serious, a declaration of the fact that the person is de facto out of communion may be the only responsible and charitable thing to do.

Fearing To Offend Is Not The Answer

Failing to name error because of some kind of fear of offending the person in error is neither compassion nor charity. Confronting or challenging the error or evil of another is never easy yet it must be done.

The adage usually attributed to Edmund Burke was correct: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Will Shepherds Start Defending The Truth

The Lord has called bishops to be shepherds. That shepherding entails both leading and protecting. In an era when error runs rampant and false teachings abound, the voice of the Holy Father rings clear and true. The teachings of the Church are well documented and consistent. Bishops and the pastors who serve in their Dioceses have an obligation both to lead their people to the truth and protect them from error.

Headlines Added By John Quinn with slight edited