Jesuit priest and peace activist Father Bill “Bix” Bichsel, 83, is in his second week of a hunger strike to protest solitary confinement at Washington’s SeaTac Federal Detention Center, where he’d been held for an earlier action against a proposed nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee.
Wasn’t that a time?
When the Catholic Church produced such men and women, fiery spirits who were engaged with the world.They entered the priesthood to challenge the enemies of life.They had learned from the silence of the Church in the 30’s that to say nothing was to come down on the side of the oppressor. As the great war resister and married priest Phil Berrigan used to say, “When they come for the innocent make sure they have to step over your body.”
Today the opposite is true. The wounded souls coming out of seminaries are looking for safe havens, islands of holiness where tbey can focus on their interior lives.There will be no crucifixes for them.They will not disturb anybody—just like Jesus of Nazareth!
Viva Bix Bichsel! A holy man who has taken history and the incarnation seriously.
A member of Disarm Now Plowshares, Bichsel has been arrested several times for nonviolent civil disobedience at military bases, nuclear weapons manufacturers, and the School of the Americas. He is currently being punished – including having to wear shackles at his hearing – for an “unauthorized” visit by two Buddhist monks who drummed and prayed outside for him. Despite cold and health problems, Father Bichsel says he sings to himself in his cell. His resolve remains strong to fight against nuclear weapons and other US policies “that are without conscience.” He has alot of work ahead of him.
William J. Bichsel, S.J # 86275-020 SHU P.O. Box 13900 Seattle, WA 98198 – 1090