Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Portland's new Catholic archbishop sees unchurched state as a challenge



The next Catholic archbishop of Portland comes with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and the relatively youthful perspective of a person born in 1960. At 52,  the youngest prelate to be named an archbishop in the United States, the Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample  says he's ready for the challenge of an unchurched state.
At a press conference Tuesday, Sample, who has been bishop of Marquette, Mich.,  for seven  years, said some people see Oregon as a tough place to be Catholic.

"I see it as fertile ground to plant the seeds of a new evangelization," he said. The facts that Catholics account for about 14 percent of Oregonians and that almost 24  percent of the state's population don't identify as members of a particular church don't discourage him.

"I want to connect those who are longing in their hearts for spirituality with the one whom I believe is an answer to that longing, Jesus Christ."

Sample also promised to speak out on moral issues addressed by Catholic Church teaching.

"I won't look for reasons to grandstand," he said, "but when something has to be said, I'll say it."

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