Archive for September 28th, 2007

War, silence and the Church

September 28, 2007

Many years ago a religious order priest and I got into a conversation at an anti- war rally. For many years he had been engaged in a ministry of solidarity with the poor in a Latin American country. He was shocked at the absence of the clergy in this country and in particular in this pro life ally against the invasion of Iraq.

I ventured the though that this was the very reason the Church was losing voice in the West,There is absolutely no leadership coming from the Church and in particular Canada’s largest faith community, the Roman Catholic Church.

What would attract idealistic youth to such a moribund organization? One which has placed itself and not God’s reign at the centre of its life. What would impel youth on fire to link arms with such a group?

A priest friend in another city asked me what I thought of the incessant moaning among his sacerdotal confreres about the absence of youth in their parishes. ”They blame the culture.” he said and never themselves.”

Exactly. what are they offering?Eucharists which do not connect the broken bodies of the world with the broken bread on the altar are simply evasions of serious discipleship.
These were recurrent thoughts as I watched the Buddhist monks challenge the dictatorship in Burma.

In the USA what a witness it would be if the Roman collars organized against the death dealing policies of GW Bush. Apparently a million deaths in Iraq and a horrendous refugee problem are not sufficient cause to take a prophetic stand.

In Canada even as our iterim government has radically defined the meaning of the military away from peacekeeping and nation building Catholic bishops have refused to sign a joint letter from Canada’s Churches urging the Government to change the country’s strategy on the war in Afghanistan.

The CCCB always seems to be totally out of step with other Canadian churches on war and peace and the cause of the nonviolent Jesus. Apparently the deaths of 69 soldiers and one diplomat since conflict broke out at the end of 2001 has not been enough to dissuade them of these wrongheaded policies.