Monday, July 9, 2012


George Weigel, writer and Catholic spokesperson for conservative think tank

Fr. Thomas Merton, writer and prophetic progressive voice of the Catholic church

Right and left, red and blue, by the grace of God we worship in the same pew.
From a column published in many Catholic newspapers to support the U.S. Bishops Fortnight for Freedom campaign that concluded July 4, 2012 we are told, “At this critical moment in history, there are two social justice priorities  {my underline} for the Catholic Church in the U.S.:  the defense of life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all.”
 --George Weigel, senior fellow of the non-denominational Ethics and Public Policy Center in Wash. D.C.    --A strong proponent of the Iraq war, that was strongly opposed by Pope John Paul II.

Potshot politics 1

The emphasis is to be against healthcare mandates, and to be pro-life.  Mr. Weigel defines life to be defended and respected as innocent life, apparently as opposed to a designated enemy’s life.  This is a reasoned attitude that bases itself on natural law, and moral order [as he well outlines in the article], but it is only partial Gospel.  It avoids Jesus’ total rejection of violence, and love of enemy to point of death on the cross.  Along with Weigel’s social justice focused on our government’s challenge to conscience on matters of personal morality/religious freedom, we must also seek freedom from governments's pursuit of war at all costs, and its promotion of the overwhelming rights of the rich over the rights of the poor—which causes more violence & war.
Potshot politics 2

There are priorities to be considered.  Those urged below by another author, we neglect at great peril.  The countries of the world, ours the foremost, continue to have more than sufficient destructive firepower to abort the planet.

"Christians must become active in every possible way, mobilizing all their resources for the fight against war. Peace is to be preached, nonviolence is to be explained as a practical method, and not left to be mocked as an outlet for crackpots who want to make a show of themselves. Prayer and sacrifice must be used as the most effective spiritual weapons in the war against war, and like all weapons, they must be used with deliberate aim: not just with a vague aspiration for peace and security, but against violence and war. We may never succeed in this campaign, but whether we succeed or not, the duty is evident. It is the great Christian task of our time. Everything else is secondary."
-- Thomas Merton, Trappist monk who wrote from Kentucky ‘s Gethsemane Abbey in his 1962 essay, “The Root of War is Fear.”
The works of war have to be replaced by the works of mercy.  There is no other way to truly respect life, and to live the life of faith taught by Our Savior.

Until the day that our church bulletins have many more names in the column of prayer intentions, listed for those doing dedicated nonviolent service, than those in the armed services, we have not even begun to evangelize the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I invite you all to join in some way with Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy's Annual Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence.  It started on July 1st and lasts till August 9th.  An explanation of the fast is availabe by emailing me at  To receive daily meditations as below, please sign up in the "Keep informed" box, middle right of Fr. McCarthy's webpage.

"War is mass murder...Do you really believe that Christianity will perish unless it be defended by war? If we do believe that, then we have deliberately passed a vote of no confidence in Christianity. If Christianity needs this kind of defense then there is little that is really divine about it. We must conclude that a faith which needs the defense of warfare is not a faith which even deserves to survive.”     —Rev. William Barclay (1907-1978)    Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism,        University of Glasgow
It is terrible to see how Jesus, with open eyes, let himself be impaled on the drawn knife--and yet could do no other without betraying the thing he had finally, finally brought into human history: the refusal to use violence…Jesus was nonviolent to the core.
—Norbert Lohfink, SJ
                       Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule    Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

"Jesus told His disciples to love their enemies; He did not tell them to be good citizens."
                   —Rev. John L. McKenzie,  Scripture scholar, Claremont, CA.

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