I recently received my newest edition of “Columbia” magazine by the Knights of Columbus. An article was about a Knight who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Unfortunately, besides a little about the prayer life of the man who received the medal, the Knights did not delve deeper on the morality and justness of the war in Afghanistan, especially after Osama bin Laden was killed (of course, in Pakistan and not Afghanistan), which is when the events occurred for this sailor to receive the award. Instead, we just got platitudes about defending freedom and doing your duty. Are my brother Knights of the Prince of Peace or Knights of the Military–Industrial Complex? Christ told us it would be hard to follow Him; it is too easy to go along to get along in general society, which celebrates militarism and war.
Paul Elie, writing for The New Yorker, provides an excellent overview of the Plowshares movement, and places the actions of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 within the context of not only this movement but the wider evolution of the Church’s thinking and teaching on nuclear weapons. Check it out!
Plowshares Sentencing Pending, Write the Judge
November 20, 2019
Dear ___,Now is the time to write letters to Judge Lisa Godbey Wood regarding her sentencing of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. We are collecting letters, especially from those who know the defendants, testifying to their character and the good work that they are doing in their communities which will not be done if they are serving long terms in prison. These letters are not the forum to criticize the law, the legal process or government policies. Rather it is the place to point out positive things about the defendants that should mitigate a harsh sentence.
Letters should be sent to defense attorney Bill Quigley at the address below. He will compile them and distribute to various defendants’ attorneys for delivery to Judge Wood. The attorneys suggest it would be helpful to get these done by Thanksgiving or the week after in order to get processed and delivered. Sentencing may be in January or possibly February.
The best letters are simple, polite, and tell good things about the person you are writing in support of.
The suggested format is as follows:DateSender’s NameSender’s AddressJudge Lisa Godbey Woodc/o Bill QuigleyLoyola University New Orleans Law ClinicCampus Box 9027214 St. Charles AvenueNew Orleans, LA 70118Regarding Sentencing of: Mark Colville [or] Clare Grady [or] Martha Hennessy [or] Fr. Steve Kelly SJ [or] Elizabeth McAlister [or] Patrick O’Neill [or] Carmen Trotta (or all seven of the Kings Bay Plowshares)Dear Judge Wood, Suggested outline for the letter: – Explain who you are. – Explain who you are writing about, how you know them, and what good they do for their community. – Explain why the Judge should not send them to jail. – Thank the Judge for reading your letter.Valediction,Signature
For more ideas and details for your letters, you are welcome to see the defendants’ biographies here.
Thank you for your attentiveness to the trial, your support for the defendants and their families, and your focus on the issue of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
As Fr. Steve Kelly says, “The nuclear weapons won’t go away by themselves.” We do this work together.
In solidarity,The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Team
Thanks to your support, we have mobilized thousands of people around the world to speak out for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Please help with expenses, housing, and supporting defendants’ families following the verdict and the upcoming sentencing.
- Send checks to: Plowshares, PO Box 3087, Washington, DC 20010
- Donate online: GoFundMe
EMAIL: Media: email@example.com
Great commentary on the USCCB by Patrick Coffin this morning. He points out that their annual budget is $180 million, and not all of that comes from donations from Catholics. As an example, he says that 64.7% of the total annual budget of Catholic Relief Services is money given to them by the federal government. He says:
“It’s getting harder to know where the Church ends and the State begins…Somehow, somehow the Catholic Church in America managed to preach the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments and teach the faith for over 300 years before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops began in 1966.”
Check it out:
is peace, says Dan Miller.
This is a great essay about the current state of affairs in the Church.
The sad fact is that many young Catholic men and women are more willing and eager to be soldiers for Uncle Sam than to be saints of shalom for Jesus. Even sadder is the likely reason for this: the powers and principalities of a certain type of Americanism have done a better job of passionately and persuasively preaching their gospel than the presiders and preachers in Catholic Churches, schools, and homes have done in preaching the gospel of Jesus.
We were delighted to receive this email from Fr. Bernard Survil, Member of “The Friends of Franzand Ben,” administrators of the website: bensalmon.org/. We are glad Fr. Bernard will be helping to break the silence about militarism and war in the American Catholic Church.
First to thank you for producing the collection basket protest for the Collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services scheduled to take place in my diocese the coming weekend, Nov 16-17th.
I have reproduced around 1,500 copies which will be distributed to people attending Mass at our Cathedral Parish and several parishes nearby.
Then to suggest CAM include on the Resources pages under the heading “Conscientious Objection” an invitationto sign the Petition to Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicagoregarding initiating the process for the beatification of BEN SALMON. That is done by:
- going to the website http://www.bensalmon.org
- then scrolling down to the yellow background area and clicking “Sainthood”
- then filling out the info asked for, as well as offering a comment (over 250 comments are already viewable onthe same site)
- then click “Submit.”
People sometimes tell the webmaster they did this buttheir endorsement doesn’t show up. As a backup, one can leave a message at 724-523-0291 giving the name of the caller, phone number, and the message: “Today(date) I endorsed the Petition to Cardinal Cupich regarding BEN SALMON.”
Fr. Bernard Survil, Member of “The Friends of Franzand Ben,” administrators of the website: bensalmon.org/
and listed among the “Starter-Endorsers: Rev Charles E. McCarthy, Newton, MA”
This was originally posted at LewRockwell.com.
Here is a letter Eric Norris wrote to his diocesan newspaper in Indiana:
I am greatly disappointed by your announcement on the cover of the October 20 issue.
- It is “Veterans Day”, no apostrophe.
- It was originally Armistice Day, and is still defined as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace”, not fighting.
- It is not meant to honor in any way current members of the military (“fighting”), but Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”
- Armed Forces Day is the time to recognize those currently in the military.
- Please explain how, in what way, any current “fighting” is benefiting our country (“fighting for our country”). This bothers me to no end. Do you know why Osama bin Laden attacked the US? He stated explicitly it was the actions (“fighting”) of the US military in the Middle East in the 1990s.
- I am a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It brought no freedom to the Iraqi people, or you, or me.
We are meant to be counter-cultural and worship the Prince of Peace, not to knee-jerk support the military policy and actions of the US or any other government. The wide world will be falling all over themselves “supporting the troops” on November 11. What would Jesus do? Maybe, just maybe, he would look at each one of us veterans individually, try to understand our personal reasons for joining, and the struggles, successes, and failures in the aftermath thereof.
Eric S. Morris
St. Elizabeth Seton, Carmel
Eric tells us that his pastor wrote in the bulletin this week partially in response to his concerns about the diocesan newspaper. You can see the response here on page 3.
This week’s podcast is about the origins of Catholics Against Militarism back in 2013. We discuss the upcoming Triennial Collection for the Archdiocese of the Military Services, scheduled to happen again this weekend, on Nov. 9-11, 2019, in parishes around the country. Fr. Tim Taugher from Saint Francis Assisi parish in Binghamton, New York, joins us to talk about why he won’t be taking up the collection at his parish, despite the posters and marketing materials for the collection that have been sent to him. Read Fr. Taugher’s letter written to his bishop below.