Archive for May 2016

Blue Jays cave to American Militarism

May 31, 2016


How low can you go? they are at it again.This time We the South.Why a Canadian ball team has to genuflect to US nonsense, especially after the chaos the empire created in the Middle East. What gives?

Smedley Butler where are you when we need you?

I was disgusted decades ago when the Blue Jays opened their season on Good Friday. Is nothing sacred? Answer no, of course not. We would not think of practicing on Good Friday when I was running ball teams for the Knights of Columbus. It just wasn’t done but as they say that was then and this is now. But then I taught in a Catholic school where the obtuse VP got on the PA and on Holy Thursday and wished the student body, “a good long weekend.”
Now Major League baseball ordered the teams to dress in military camouflage to celebrate Memorial Day last Monday, a holiday unheard of in Canada.
More of the cloying uber-patriotism the USA is famous for but which used to be frowned on in Canada. A few years ago the ugly Yankee owner George Steinbrenner had a fan ejected when the poor sap never got up to sing America the Beautiful at the seven inning stretch.
All of this is post 9/11 nonsense.


The caps and jerseys featured “an authentic military digital camouflage design licensed from the U.S. Marine Corps in honor of Memorial Day,” according to Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays Canadianized it by using “a camouflage design based on the Canadian Disruptive Pattern (“CADPAT”) used by Canadian Forces.”
Stephen Harper would have loved this suck up to the Yanks. First we had “the highway of heroes” for the 401, then a bloated military budget and now this hokey genuflection to the military. Don Cherry presumably was over the top.



As Pierre Trudeau once said, it’s tough when the mouse lives next to the elephant. The consumer BS does not recognize the 49th parallel and all this disgusting militarism finds its way here and we go along with it.
Shame on the Blue Jays for capitulating.


Next year I suggest every fan gets one page handout on Memorial Day.This one from a real patriot.Smedley Darlington Butler was a United States Marine Corps major general  at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Smedley had been used in typical imperial misadventures in the Philipines and Nicaragua and he saw through the propganda lies couched in the usual nationalist cant. On his retirement he wrote a book War is a Racket



“Go to Hamas”

May 28, 2016

Poor Miriam, such a decent person. She came to Israel full of hope, did everything right then she watched the whole thing unravel. Bigoted Arab haters took over her government, men who  were racist and had lost the deep respect for humanity at the heart of Judaism. Imagine living in a country when a vicious brute like Ariel Sharon ould become your Prime Minister, then now living under Benjamin Netanyahu. She scans the landscape and cringes as her hoped-for democratic country continues its oppression of Palestinian people.

What’s a good woman to do? “Go to Hamas or Gaza” because she is apprently an Arab lover. No she is a good woman  who grants dignity to all people. She is heartsick. She writes her cri de coeur to that fine newspaper, Haaretz.Intelligent people read this paper so Miriam writes to it. Now unknown to North americans there is A rag called Israel Hayom, a free paper purchased by the American idolator of Netanyahu, the casino  magnate Sheldon Adelson. 40% of Israelis pick up this propaganda sheet and only 5% of israelis read a real paper like Haaretz. So Miriam writes. She is now 75 and still hopes for the best.


From Holocaust to rebirth to occupation

I am a Holocaust survivor, born in Belgrade in 1940, and my childhood was spent in the ghetto and in a Budapest hospital under an assumed name. My life essentially began in 1948 when I immigrated to Israel. Here my family and I built our lives with difficulty and distress, without help from the establishment although the Israeli government had committed in the Reparations Agreement to rehabilitate us. I served in the Armored Corps, studied social work, and my husband and I were among the first residents of Arad.

My children served in the army, and I never – until the past few years – felt alienated or unaffiliated with the state in which I was assured a life of freedom as a Jew. In recent years, as I get older, I have encountered people’s hatred of my views on the bus, in the grocery store and in the mall, a hatred that sometimes is expressed in remarks like, “Go to Gaza, to Hamas.” To this we must add the politicians’ use of agitation and hatred for political purposes.

In this atmosphere I feel persecuted once more. We are not victims. A people that conquers another people, a nation that has a strong army, isn’t permitted to use the Holocaust to justify its actions. Every day I feel the evil spirits wafting through the country. I feel like an unwanted outsider, and, sad to say, I’m also afraid. Maj. Gen. Yair Golan was correct. As the man responsible for all our children he had to say what he did. Hatred of the stranger, the occupation, an unwillingness to accept those with different views – these are all foundations of a fascist movement. We must stop this immediately, because if we don’t, it won’t help our leaders to use the Holocaust to stop the criticism from the free world, which will justifiably condemn these phenomena.

Miriam Handelman Bat Yam
May 23, 2016

The United States of Amnesia

May 27, 2016


Comes another independent film not coming to a cinema near you. Everywhere the landscape is changing. More and more people seeing through the incessant drumbeat of Israeli lies, its craven enablers in the US media and Congress. Church organizations (except the somnolent Catholic church) at the national level are supporting Boycott Divestment Sanctions against the apartheid state. More unions are on board, campuses are buzzing with BDS activity and most worrying to Israel are the Jewish millenials who can no longer stomach the evisceration of the Jewish ethical life.
People in general are less afraid of being tagged anti-Semitic in spite of tremendous pressure. The mood seems to be changing at long last. A lie can not simply last forever. Connections are being made in the USA between between police violence in the cities here and military violence against Palestinians. More and more people are understanding that urban police departments in the USA have been trained by the experts—Israelis who have ben past masters at penning up an occupied population.


The ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and its repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world — except the United States. The Occupation of the American Mindtakes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S. Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the film explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor.


You can own a copy of this important film
The Occupation of the American Mind provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people — a battle that has only intensified over the past few years in the face of widening international condemnation of Israel’s increasingly right-wing policies. (Running time: 85 mins)
FEATURING (partial list):
• ROGER WATERS, the narrator of The Occupation of the American Mind.
• AMIRA HASS is the correspondent for the Occupied Territories for Haaretz.
• STEPHEN M. WALT is Professor of International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
• NOAM CHOMSKY is a leading U.S. political theorist and activist, and institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.
• HENRY SIEGMAN is a research professor in the Middle East Program at SOAS at the University of London.
• RASHID KHALIDI is currently Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.
• RAMI KHOURI is the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.
• NORMAN FINKELSTEIN is an American political scientist, activist, and author of numerous books on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
• MAX BLUMENTHAL is an award-winning journalist for The Nation magazine and New York Times bestselling author of several books.
• PHYLLIS BENNIS is a writer, activist, and policy analyst on Middle East and UN issues.
• MARK CRISPIN MILLER is professor of media studies at New York University and one of America’s foremost authorities on advertising, public relations, and political propaganda.

Praise for The Occupation of the American Mind
“I wish every American would watch this powerful documentary. Not only every person of conscience, but every taxpayer, must see it — and then ask themselves if the status quo is acceptable and can continue deep into the 21st century.” Gideon Levy, columnist for Haaretz
“Harrowing and incendiary! A vital and unmissable film.” Dave Zirin, The Nation magazine
“One of the most compelling and important documentaries in recent years, because it helps us make sense of the lies, mayhem, and injustice in the heart of the Middle East: Palestine. … watch this film.” John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker
“A remarkable achievement. Anyone who wishes to understand the deeper reasons for America’s utter failure to bring peace to the region should begin by watching this powerful film.” Avi Shlaim, Professor Emeritus, Oxford
“A superb documentary that makes a devastatingly persuasive case that the U.S. public is being systematically subjected to disinformation from its media on the Israel-Palestine conflict.” Jonathan Cook, journalist, author
“A powerful film that exposes an infuriating reality. You cannot watch this film without grieving for the Palestinians, for the propaganda we’ve been subjected to … ” Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink
“Not only land, but also minds can be colonized. The brilliance of this documentary is that it manages to tell the story of both forms of colonization simultaneously.” Neve Gordon, Professor of Politics, Ben-Gurion University

“As courageous as it is informative, brilliantly produced and faithful to its search for the truth, it makes clear how the current right-wing government in Israel has weaponized knowledge …” Henry Giroux, McMaster University

Chief Rabbi strikes out

May 23, 2016

Once the UK had chief rabbis with some deep learning and credibility. Immanuel Jakobovits and Jonathan Sacks come to mind. The present one is a dud.



Robert Cohen a British blogger pointed out how the mighty have fallen by quoting this nonsense from an article Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis penned in London’s Daily Telegraph.Zionism inter alia is :
“…a noble and integral part of Judaism”.
“…one of the axioms of Jewish belief”.
“…one can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”
Zionism was such a minor part of the Jewish community until the Nazi holocaust. The early 20th century rabbinate excoriated it, saw through it as a mortal threat to Judaism. Once you sacralized land and then a state you would do anything to preserve it. We have seen the result.
In 1900 Palestine had a traditional Jewish community , the yishuv, which comprised but 5% of present day Israel. In time, Zionism a secular colonial movement with largely atheist leaders stole the land from the indigenous Palestinians.
In 1948 the Nakba occurred.
The displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their land. The 400 Palestinian towns and villages destroyed. The four million acres of Palestinian land expropriated. The many massacres of men women and children.


Mmmm was this a part of Judaic legacy? according to the rabbi, it was kosher.
Cohen writes
For you, Zionism and its achievements are a matter of pride, a modern Jewish miracle. And those that criticize Zionism must be antisemitic.

Cohen ends up writing what many orthodox Jews of conscience are maintaining
And as the Nakba continues to this day so too does the corruption inside the soul of Judaism….After atrocity can the soul of Judaism be rescued?

One Israeli orthodox writer Gershom Gorenberg wrote Dec. 30, 2015 :
One implication of this history is that the occupation has not only corrupted the State of Israel, it has corrupted Judaism. It has become a constant defamation of God’s good name.
I wonder what the chief rabbi would say to this.

Anti BDS Bill fails

May 20, 2016

So the antidemocratic anti-BDS private member bill failed yesterday in the Ontario parliament 39 votes to 18.

The pathetic scare tactic which falsely accused the BDS movement of encouraging 1930s-style boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses in Europe and tried to tie Palestine solidarity activism to attacks by suspected Islamist militants in France failed dismally.
Can you believe the gall of the failed Tory leader Hudak naming this bill Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act, 2016. Yeah, I guess you can knowing his previous stunts as leader. BDS has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It deals with a state, Israel continuing to abuse and marginalize Palestinians.



Claiming that BDS targets Jewish Canadians is simply ridiculous. This bill is filled with outright lies. BDS has nothing to do with Judaism. Palestinians have chosen this method of resistance due to the Israeli state’s historic and ongoing dispossession of their lands, which it conducts with impunity. Jews around the world, including in Canada, continue to be active in disproportionately large numbers in the BDS movement,” says Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for the national human rights organization Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV).


A victory for free speech and common sense and a scold to Liberal Mike Colle who attached his credibility to such a dumb bill. Mike should have known better to play politics with a grave global moral issue.


Peggy Sattler, the NDP’s spokesperson on higher education, said “racism and anti-Semitism must be actively opposed and condemned in the strongest possible terms,” but described the bill as an attack on freedom of speech and academic freedom.
“Ontario New Democrats do not believe that it is the role of the state to prescribe what topics are acceptable for public discourse and what topics are not,” Sattler added. “It is not the role of government to prohibit citizens from expressing their opinions and debating ideas.”


Good, but this should have come out of leader Andrea Horvath’s mouth.

The NDP still continues to hide behind any justice seeking for Palestinians. Tom Mulcair at the federal level was particularly pathetic on this issue.


Another hysterical and desperate power play by zionist supporters who are rapidly losing the ideological battle. This was well described by BDS National Committee general coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa:


“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring Western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large.”

The ghost of Joe McCarthy

May 19, 2016

Shame on Tim Hudak and Mike Colle.
Suddenly a draconian bill sponsored by two grads of Catholic schools has suddenly appeared in the Ontario legislature. It will blacklist supporters of the Palestinian-led grassroots campaign for human rights, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.


ONTTim Hudak a rabid pro-Israel backer and failed leader of the Conservative Party and Mike Colle a grad of St Michael’s College who represents many Jews in his North Toronto riding are the amnesiacs in question. Can’t believe Mike is playing politics with this justice issue.Hudak has always been a reactuionary politician.

Listen to Hudak’s nonsense: the goal of BDS is “to sponsor the de-legitimization of the state of Israel as well as to foster hatred and animosity against those of Jewish faith in support of Israel.” Wrong.

The goal is never to delegitimate Israel. It is here to stay.BDS is to bring israel to its senses by using a totally acceptable nonviolent tactic (BDS) the same one which helped South Africa on its way to a more inclusive democracy. The bill woukld have wide ramifications for those seeking government contracts.It shockingly also states that universities, pillars of free speech can not paticipate or supportt BDS.

Hello Joe McCarthy!

This genuflection to the powerful Israeli lobby was already mocked out of existence in New York state where the citizens seem to have a healthier respect for democracy and free speech.

Brian Otto lamented on the Electrionic Intifada website:

It was entirely predictable that the reply of Israel and its apologists would be that the BDS movement is “anti-semitic”. This is the lie that Israel perpetrates against anyone who criticizes their politics, their illegal occupation, their apartheid-like treatment of the Palestinians. Except Israeli Jews – or any other Jews – who criticize Israel are “self-hating” Jews. What’s astonishing is how many people buy into this crap. It’s truly a shame that the two most significant Liberal leaders in Canada – the Prime Minister, and the Premier of Ontario – are among those who peddle this mean-spirited, anti-democratic BS. Shame!

“Ashamed Canadian” wrote:
As an ashamed Canadian, rest assured: this legislation does NOT reflect the views of most Canadians. Like its counterparts in the US, this kind of legislation is pushed by the Israel lobby and corrupt, corporate-backed Zionist politicians. Politicians like to rant about the threat of terrorism, but when the wretched of the Earth practices peaceful activism, they are silenced, attacked and repressed. What is the effect of this policy? Death, destruction, and despair.

and “Eric” added

Based on its past performance, the Ontario NDP may support the bill, as a few years ago it vociferously backed a motion condemning Israeli Apartheid Week. The federal NDP also opposes BDS, though it plucked up its limited courage and voted against the recent federal BDS motion on civil liberties grounds

Frank Holden had a stroingly worded monitum
The goal of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is to get Israel’s murdering military and Israel’s settlers and settlements out of Palestine, to allow exiled Palestinians to return to their homes and towns, and to accomplish this by international economic pressure only. Anything else we hear about the BDS movement is Zionist lies. Anyone in doubt about the rights and wrongs of the Palestine-Israel conflict and why BDS exists, should research the “conflict” on line and find out for her/himself. Caution: Be prepared to find out how much your own Canadian politicians and media are lying to you. Be prepared to discover how and why. Fear not, for you will acquire so discerning an education in being a citizen of your human community that you will be very glad you’ve taken the trouble.


It will be interesting to see how much courage there is in the Ontario Legislature.


Mike Colle has been a good MPP but here his blind spot is evident.

The solution: move Israel to USA

May 19, 2016

courtesy of Truthdig and Norman Finkelstein

In an interview with Open Democracy, Finkelstein, who regards the image as “funny” and a “joke,” remarked, “As crazy as the discourse on Israel is in America, at least we still have a sense of humour. It’s inconceivable that any politician in the U.S. would be crucified for posting such a map.”


Omar Barghouti banned in Israel

May 16, 2016

Well, they are at it again. Yep, it’s Israel, ”the only democracy in the Middle East.” What a joke. The latest embarrassment is the travel banning of Omar Barghouti the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Barghouti like others before him is a particular danger to Israel as he is a fluent English speaking activist who has carried BDS around the world.


In former years Israel simply expelled Palestinian leaders who were gaining nonviolent traction among the masses. The most famous case was that of Mubarak Awad(simply Google him). There are many nonviolent actions even today in Israel but the western press refuses to give them the press they merit.


All the while you have a nonviolent actor like Barghouti who is punished for advocating peaceful stratagems like BDS. Israel will do anything to stop him and BDS.In the USA we see desperate attempts to criminalize such an nonviolent movement


Barghouti, born in Qatar, lived in Egypt but moved to Jaffa and has lived without incident in ACRE for 22 years. He is married to a Palestinian Israeli citizen and has what is called a “visa of permanent residency” but needs official permission to travel outside Israel.

Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch told The Electronic Intifada that “Israel’s refusal to renew Barghouti’s travel document appears to be an effort to punish him for exercising his right to engage in peaceful, political activism, using its arsenal of bureaucratic control over Palestinian lives.” She added: “Israel has used this sort of control to arbitrarily ban many Palestinians from traveling, as well as to ban international human rights monitors, journalists and activists from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”


Silence from the EU and USA.they love the murdered Jesus, Gandhi and King, the nonviolent martyrs, but turn their backs on a living actor, a true champion of nonviolent,civilian led tribune of the people.
Barghouti remains nonplussed.

“By repeating platitudes about Palestinian human rights but then persistently failing to criticize Israel when it denies them, the US administration is protecting Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid from accountability. In effect, this administration is giving Israel a tacit green light to violently repress Palestinian, Israeli, American and other human rights defenders who are struggling nonviolently for the realization of Palestinian rights under international law through the time-honored tactics of boycott and divestment. With  the “pernicious rise of the influence of the far-right, settler-dominated Israeli government in the US Congress in recent years, the US administration has surrendered any attempts to hold Israel to account, even when it undermines US policy interests.”

To the consternation of hardline, out of touch Jewish organizations, young millenial Jews are more and more supporting the BDS nonviolent alternative.


Jewish Voice for Peace spokesperson Rebecca Vilkomerson said she hoped activists would “flood Secretary Kerry’s office with tens of thousands of messages” because “this is more than just an attack on one political leader. It’s an attack on the right to nonviolently organize for justice, freedom and equality.”


Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:


“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large.
By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from traveling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice

Millenial Jews shaking the foundations

May 12, 2016

Young millenial Jews seem to be about the only hope for Jewish institutions to wake up and reclaim an authentic Judaism, a biblical prophetic brand best summed up in the invocation of Deuteronomy 16:20, “tzedek, tzedek tirdof” ( justice, justice you shalt pursue). Sadly a debilitating Zionism has wormed its way into too many sanctuaries, twisting maybe the greatest gift to the human community, biblical Judaism.
Ben Lorber a young Jewish campus minister in Chicago recently lamented that that “Mainstream synagogues, with their ‘We Stand With Israel’ banners facing the street and Israeli flags adorning the bimah, are struggling to find members under the age of 50.” Millenials like Lorber are more and more challenging Jewish institutions to participate in the movement for Palestinian justice. Heretofore, most have been silent. But a growing number of millenial Jews who care and have eyes to see simply cannot abide in the name of Jewish ethics, the shocking oppression of the occupation. They notice what it has done to the state of Israel and the deleterious effect it has had on North American Judaism.Lorbr

Lorber in his article which had to appear in Israel as most North American papers are terrified of printing such a seismic shift in the Jewish community, wrote that “yesterday’s Jews would be shocked to see that it is considered more heretical for Jews today to question the State of Israel than to question belief in God.”
In Canada many of these millenials have also come to the conclusion that those rabbis at the turn of the 20th century who warned the community about zionism were right. Zionism had the capacity to uproot Jews from Torah. Israel the state would become akin to the golden calf of Exodus, an idol.


It is quite inspiring to to see people like Tyler Levitan of Independent Jewish Voices ( challenge Prime Minister Trudeau to mark May 15 not only as Yom Ha’atmaut,the birth of the state of Israel but also as Nakba Day, commemorating the forced exile and dispossession of the majority of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Liberals of course are no better than Tories on this issue…both genuflecting to the Jewish vote.

Levitan a millenial “ Jew of Conscience” puts it right to Trudeau
If the Liberals wish to play the role of an honest broker– which they have failed at playing since coming into office–they need to begin by commemorating Nakba Day alongside Yom Ha’Atzmaut. A failure to do this will continue to send Canadians the message that Palestinians and their narrative should simply be ignored. Is that the behaviour of an honest broker?

Levitan then profers the invitation:

Please take a moment to sign our e-mail petition to Prime Minister Trudeau, and share this message with your friends through email and social media by copying and pasting this link:

Church needs a dose of humility

May 10, 2016


Not everyone who says ‘Abba Father’ gets into the kingdom but he or she who does the will of God.
Matt. 7:21

One of Europe’s top prizes for humanitarian work is the Charlemagne Prize awarded for “ efforts to promote the European values of peace, tolerance, compassion and solidarity.” The winner this year Pope Francis.The award ceremony on May 5 was preceded by a Pontifical mass at St.Peter’s.


Bear in mind this is not a religious prize. However European Commission president Junker stated that  Pope Francis personifies the idea that “solidarity and compassion are not just fine-sounding words but values that require us to take a stand and act.” He warned that peace cannot be taken for granted and called on all Europeans to face up to their difficulties in order to overcome them, and to shape history rather than be swept along by it. The way to do this is through coalitions “cultural, educational, philosophical and religious,which calls for more unity and more solidarity as the continent confronts its many crises.”

Andrea Ricciardi of the San Egidio lay Catholic community of Rome pointed to the radical differences between Francis and his 2 predecessors whose bete noire was always “secularism and its discontents.”


Both JP ll and Ratzinger consistently lectured secularists about Europe’s failure to embrace its Christian roots.They were insistent on a “God clause”for a European constitutional document. Francis has cut the legs out from both former popes. Instead of seeing Catholicism and Christianity as unique and sole purveyors of The Truth, the heroic defenders of “an embattled subculture, whose task is to preserve self-enclosed pockets of faith within a hostile secular milieu”, Francis more or less heads off in another direction—dialogue and encounter.



The Church especially here needs to hear this. Get out of our bunkers, have some humility, recognize that gospel values are already present in the thousands of the unchurched who are attempting to fashion a better world.



In the pope’s acceptance speech he never mentions “secular “ or “secularism” the favourite whipping boys of the last two pontiffs.



Ricciardi, a sophisticated European Catholic wrote “According to the pope, Europe … today is in decline due to a fear of encountering other people and other religions, hiding behind borders and crystallized identities,”

This is a stunning volte face.

In effect the Church simply needs to become the church, a mustard seed, a humble ginger group which, confident of its gospel values joins with other groups. The attitude here in Canada and the USA has too often been, “if we are not leading the parade we are not in it.”The best example lately has been the embarrassing church response to Francis ecological encyclical Laudato Si. Since the church did not have control of the agenda—the environmental movement already owned it—it refused to play, even though the pope was radically embracing the cry of the earth.
For decades we have been appalled at putative Catholic leaders absent from the social struggle, isolated in their arrogance, thinking they had nothing to learn from “the secularists.”
That day is long gone—much like the young people who left the church to be with the same “secularists” who were taking history seriously. Watching institutional leaders absent themselves from popular movements, the former Catholics moved the gospel outside the walls of the church and the chancery office and put it where it should be, on the streets
Two weeks before he died on August 32, 2012 the eminent Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini spoke this truth:
“The church is tired,. we are 200 years out of date Catholics lack confidence in the church. we need a radical transformation. Our culture has grown old, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our religious rites and the vestments we wear are pompous.”

Pope Francis is  right. the only way forward is coalitions, dialogue and encounter.A modicum of humility would help us realize that we need join with others in the common cause of healing the world.