Category Archives: Speeches and Sermons

Russians and Us

John F. Kennedy’s Commencement Address, June, 6, 2013:

“Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament–and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude–as individuals and as a Nation–for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward–by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home…

Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on Military Strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims–such as the allegation that “American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of wars . . . that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union . . . [and that] the political aims of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries . . . [and] to achieve world domination . . . by means of aggressive wars.

Truly, as it was written long ago: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements–to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning–a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.”

American Exceptionalism

In our manifesto, we write: When we champion the United States as “the greatest country on Earth,” we overlook the dark side of American history: American exceptionalism provides the rich soil in which militarism takes root. Militarism creates a convenient blind spot for the terrible costs of war. At its most bold, it dares and encourages young people to sacrifice their lives, and possibly their souls, at the unholy altar of the State.

 

Here it is from the horse’s mouth: Why America is Exceptional by Hillary Clinton

There’s always been something special about the United States of America. President Abraham Lincoln called us the “last, best hope of earth.” President Ronald Reagan said we are a “shining city on a hill.” And Robert Kennedy called us a great, unselfish, compassionate country.

I couldn’t agree more.

If there’s one core belief that has guided and inspired me every step of my career in public service, it’s this: the U.S. is an exceptional nation. And when you add up all our advantages, it’s clear we’re indispensable too—a nation all others look to for leadership.

America is indispensable in part because we have the greatest military in history, with the best troops, training and technology. And it’s essential we do everything we can to support our men and women in uniform, and our veterans.

America is also indispensable because of our network of alliances, built up with decades of diplomacy. Russia and China can’t begin to compare. Our allies amplify our power, aid our defense and stand with us in good times and bad, like when NATO declared 9/11 to be an attack against all its members. Walking away from our alliances now would be a dangerous mistake.

America is indispensable because we have the largest, most dynamic economy in the world. Our workers can out­innovate and out­compete anyone in the world. And our entrepreneurs start exciting new businesses every day.

Most of all, America is ­indispensable—and exceptional—because of our values. As Secretary of State, I was proud to represent our country’s commitment to freedom, equality and opportunity. The world looks to us to stand up for human rights, LGBT rights, religious and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities and people everywhere who yearn for peace. We challenge ourselves and other nations to do better. It’s why so many people from around the world want to become Americans too.

But with all of these advantages comes ­responsibility—we need to continue leading the world. Because when America fails to lead, we leave a vacuum that lets extremism take root, emboldens our adversaries and discourages our friends.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that people from other places don’t also feel deep national pride—and other countries also have a responsibility to step up and help solve global problems. But America has an unparalleled ability to be a force for peace, progress and prosperity around the world. And when we do, we make our own country safer and stronger.

So let’s never stop doing good and being great. Let’s keep America exceptional.

Catholic Military Chaplaincy

The above video was produced by the Catholic News Service. Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy is interviewed therein. While he provided over an hour of commentary, only a few soundbites were included. Below is an introduction to an independent taping of the same thing that was provided to the Catholic News Service. You can hear Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy’s thoughts in three parts.

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The Christian Military Chaplaincy: An Orwellian Ministry.
Part One 
A Ministry of the Ministry of Truth
by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Friends,

July 29, 2016 is the anniversary of the U.S. Military Chaplaincy. There will be, indeed there already has been, a parade of kudos in the Catholic and Christian press legitimating and glorifying the Catholic and Christian U.S. Military Chaplaincy. A few months ago Catholic News Service asked me to speak on camera about the Catholic Military Chaplaincy as a piece of an eight part series it was creating. What I had to say lasted for over an hour. a small segment of which was used in Part V of the series which I sent to you recently in Fast Food Helping Twenty-One. Since I knew extensive editing would be done to what I had to say, two days later in exactly the same location that the CNS interview took place I restated my position on the Christian Military Chaplaincy almost verbatim on another camera. CNS, I guess, owns the original reflection I made for it. But if that presentation and the presentation I made two days later were placed side by side there would not be a jot of significant difference.

I have broken the hour plus presentation into three logically-ordered, consecutive parts under the general title The Christian Military Chaplaincy: An Orwellian Ministry.

Over the next three days, one per day will our Fast Food Helping. Since each segment is about thirty minutes I am sending one per day in both video and audio-only format via Dropbox. This is the only way the video and audio format could be transmitted together and still be received on a normal computer. I am sending the audio only, an mp3, along with the video because at a length of thirty minutes you may prefer to put the presentation on your iPhone etc. and listen to it in some other place, e.g., bus, car, plane, walking, etc., than in front of a computer screen. To open the Dropbox and access both formats simultaneously, just click on the URL below. Then click on mp3 for audio only or mv4 for video only. If you have any problems with the Dropbox let me know.

I have also attached an Christian Military Chaplaincy Part Three. The caveat here is that this is a transcript of a verbal presentation and will not read like an essay. But, it is totally accurate.

I hope this is helpful to you in some way in fathoming the depth of the false witness to the teaching of Jesus on violence and enmity in the Gospels, which the U.S. Military Chaplaincy presents to Christians and to the non-Christian public in general with the backing of tens of millions of dollars each year from the U.S. government.

Do send a video, audio or print copy—or all three— to your Bishop, priest, minister and to any military chaplain you may know.

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The only question worth asking

John Dominic Crossan (b.1934) is an Irish-American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity and former Catholic priest, who has written twenty-eight books both scholarly and popular. Crossan is a major scholar in contemporary historical Jesus research. He earned his Doctor of Divinity in 1959 at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the Irish national seminary. He then completed two more years of study in biblical languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. In 1965 Crossan began two additional years of study (in archaeology) at the Ecole Biblique in Jordanian East Jerusalem. In the fall of 1969 he joined the faculty of De Paul University, where he taught for twenty-six years until retiring in 1995. Crossan also served as president of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research in 1978–1979, and as president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2012.

“Is the God of the Christian Bible violent or nonviolent? It is really the only question worth asking.”—John Dominic Crossan

This video is 16 minutes long.

Walking the Way of Nonviolence: Is the God of the Christian Bible Violent? from University Congregational UCC, S on Vimeo.

 

Assassination and the Holy Spirit

The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.

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Friends,

This Sunday morning at St. Edith Stein Catholic Church in Brockton, MA, I heard one of the most abominable Pentecost sermons that I have ever been subjected to in my seventy-five years of Sunday Masses. The homilist, an ordained deacon of the Archdiocese of Boston, explained Pentecost to the congregation by telling an extended story on how the Holy Spirit guided Pope Pius XII to participate in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler. Pius XII was more than likely in cahoots with people who were trying to whack Adolph Hitler—whom he helped to become Chancellor—because he was in ongoing contact with Wild Bill Donovan and his OSS (the precursor of the CIA) during WWII, as his successor Pope John Paul II was in constant contact, maneuvering and contriving with the CIA through ongoing blacked-out fights between Washington and Rome by Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, and Knight of Malta, William Casey. (Any wonder why China refuses to let the Roman Catholic Church operate freely within its borders and keeps a close eye on the other Western Christian Churches? It is not Jesus it is worried about!). But such has been the history of Popes and the papacy for over a thousand years to this very day: political intrigue, espionage, war, the overthrow of governments, spying, moles, assassinations, propaganda, block opts, etc. In fact it is hard to imagine how anyone could be elected Pope today that did not have the CIA’s informal Imprimatur, as in times past the selection of a Pope had to be formally approved of by various European political powers.

Be that as it may, there is nothing in a Pope’s or the Vatican’s political cloak and dagger activities that is of the Holy Spirit, that is informed by the Holy Spirit, that is guided by the Holy Spirit or that is inspired by the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit that is being spoken of is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Word (Logos) of God Incarnate and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. There can be no contradiction between the Holy Spirit embodied in the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels who teaches by words and deed as the revealed will of the Father a Way of Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, under all circumstances and the Holy Spirit of the Third Person of Holy Trinity of which each Christian is a temple and who lives in the Body of Christ, the Church, guiding and empowering it to live the Truth and fulfill the Commission it was given by Jesus (MT 28:19).

It is to fill a congregation with craziness and untruth to even suggest that the Holy Spirit guided anyone, including a Pope, to be an assassin in total logical contradiction of the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, are simple; there is no contradiction within the Holy Trinity; there cannot be any contradiction within the Holy Trinity, amongst the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy is the same for each, is each, and the definitive, infallible truth regarding what that Holiness is revealed in Jesus. The God Jesus reveals to humanity is not an absurdist, revealing one thing as truth on Monday and the opposite of it as truth on Tuesday. What Jesus reveals about the Holiness of God is and must be the same on Monday, Tuesday and forever for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will not pass away,” says Jesus Christ.

What this deacon did to a captive audience from the pulpit at Mass this Sunday morning is being done Sunday after Sunday from pulpits across the U.S. with the approval of the Catholic Bishops, namely, the mad, illogical and clever militarizing of the minds of Christian under the auspices of “putting on the mind of Christ.” So, let me leave the final words on this evil—and it is evil because it is deception whether realized or not—to Pope Benedict XVI from is University of Regensburg address:

“Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: ‘It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about such matters—but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss’… In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, and the logosbecame flesh in Jesus, says the Evangelist. The truly divine God is the God who has revealed Himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. It continues to be the love, agape, of the God who is logos. Not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God.”

Tyrannicide, like the mass homicidal slaughter of war, like burning Jews and heretics at the stake, contradicts the Person and teaching of Jesus, the Logos (Word) of God Incarnate—and by necessity logically contradicts any notion of Natural Law Morality of which the Logos of God, Jesus, is the Author. The Author of the Sermon on the Mount and the Author of the Natural Law are the One and the same Logos of God and therefore cannot be in logical contradiction of each other.

-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

TV Priest Assures TV President: “It’s all good!”

In House of Cards Season 3, sociopathic American President, Frank Underwood, has a brief spiritual crisis in which he questions the deaths of soldiers in the War on Terror, the value of sacrifice, the difference between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God, and asks a priest why Jesus Christ did not fight back. All good questions, actually.

But it’s strange, as this character has not experienced any other attacks of conscience in the first two seasons or expressed preoccupations with anything other than his own quest for power. He is a murderer (shoving someone in front of an oncoming subway) and an adulterer — generally one sick, sick dude. But Hollywood seems to love “heavy” scenes set in Catholic cathedrals so I guess they needed President Underwood to suddenly — out of nowhere — start feeling some compassion for his fellow man and asking questions about right and wrong, love, and the meaning of life, life beyond his own petty immersions in power-politics.

The TV Priest shrugs his shoulders and says, “I ask myself that question all the time,” (about why Christ didn’t fight back) then reassures the President that it’s okay to continue killing innocent civilians in the War on Terror. It’s a-okay. Collateral damage, you know? Then he says a lot of other pretty vague and confusing things about “service” and God that don’t really make a lot of sense. Is this yet another example of Pentagon propaganda infiltrating our television and movies (and thus our minds) with their murderous mindset, or an accurate depiction of American society and the Church’s role in that society, their utter inability to answer the most basic questions about the most pressing issue of our time, war and peace, within the context of the Catholic faith?

I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do, I see an awful lot of protagonists these days who are politicians, law enforcement and government agents. What ever happened to television shows about families and friends? The television shows these days aim to make us sympathize with the person who is acting — always in a manner that is cold, calculated and rational — on behalf of the government, and too often they portray “regular people” (citizens) as weak, rabid, emotional, unpredictable, menacing mobs. The government agent is always the good guy, of course, and these shows always seem to be trying to assure me that killing is okay, necessary, noble even, because,  you know — safety first.

If you watch the clip to the end, you will see the charming culmination of the scene, when the American President spits in the face of Jesus hanging on the cross. Again, is this just an example of Hollywood trying to be scandalous and shocking, or is it an accurate representation of the state’s true attitude toward Christianity?

The propaganda in this society is pervasive and persistent. Kill your t.v.

No National Day for Victims of War

The following is a homily delivered by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy on November 9, 2015

Roger LaPorte: November 9,1965,

A Symbol of War’s Flotsam for Whom There is No National or Religious Memorial Day or War Victims Day

Roger LaPorte is long dead, long gone and long forgotten. His name is not to be found on any wall of remembrance in Washington, DC. There is no state monument remembering the Lethally Wounded Non-Warriors of War. Nor, have I ever seen in any U.S. Catholic Church the slightest memento that would call to mind the non-warrior victims of U.S. wars—for the purpose of praying for them and their killers. Yet, the overwhelming majority of victims of war are not warriors but rather are non-warriors. Do not they deserve recognition and prayers and help as much as dead warriors or wounded warrior. Roger LaPorte is just another one of the lost-to-recorded-history of billions of non-warrior victims of war.

Roger, a Catholic Christian, immolated himself on November 9, 1965, fifty years ago today, at the United Nations in New York City in order to bring to light and to protest the savagery of the evil that the U.S. economic, political and military elites had been and were pouring down on the Vietnamese people for years with hardly a peep from anyone in the U.S.—including the Bishops of the Catholic Church. It was a last resort, desperate act, of a young man who was trying to love his brothers and sisters in Vietnam and in the U.S. by laying down his life for them.

What brought him to the point, where he perceived that this is what he wanted to, should do, must do, will forever be unknown in this world. The moral quality of his act before God will also be forever unknown in this world. Did he intend to do God’s will as revealed by Jesus? Was he following his conscience? Was he making his choice in a state of non-culpable ignorance? From whence did he derive the idea that he could be doing God’s will by killing himself to try to save the earthly life of others? Was it from a logical extension of the Catholic moral theory justifies homicide, that is, if a person could kill another to try to save an earthly life, why could not a person kill him or herself to try to save an earthly life?  Why is killing another human being to save a life a morally neutral or good act and killing oneself to save a life an intrinsically morally grave evil act? If taking another life to save the life of an innocent person is a good act in conformity with Jesus’ teaching, “No greater love has a person than to lay down his life for his friends,” then why doesn’t the same apply for taking one’s own life to save innocent people? Isn’t this exactly what is being done when a soldier intentionally falls on a hand grenade to save his buddies’ lives? The moral difference between that soldier and Roger LaPorte is what? And, who is responsible for placing into Roger’s mind the idea that any kind of homicidal violence for any purpose can be morally squared with Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels on violence and on the meaning and way of salvific divine love, Christlike agape?

Finally, when asking the question, “What brought Roger to the point, where he perceived that this is what he wanted to do, should do, must do,” an event that was spiritually glamourize in a significant part of the peace movement, including the Christian peace movement, at that time is more than likely a piece of the puzzle of what moved Roger to immolate himself. On June 11, 1963, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, immolated himself at a Saigon intersection as a way of protesting the intolerable persecution of Buddhists in South Vietnam by its Catholic President and U.S surrogate, Ngo Dinh Diem. With specific reference to that Buddhist’s witness, an 82 year old Jewish pacifist in Detroit on March 16, 1965, Alice Herz, and a 31 year old Quaker in Washington, DC, on November 2, 1965, Norman Morrison, followed the Buddhist monk in his choice of self-immolation as a way to try to help the people of Vietnam who for years were daily being torn to pieces by high tech and low tech U.S. Military killing gadgets and personnel. Morrison, even took his one year old daughter, Emily, with him to a place outside the Pentagon about forty feet from the window of the office of the Secretary of “Defense,” Robert McNamara, handed his daughter to someone, then doused himself with kerosene, burning himself to death. His wife said that the reason he brought his daughter with him was “[S]he was a powerful symbol of the children we were killing with our bombs and napalm–who didn’t have parents to hold them in their arms.” Seven days later on November 9, 1965, Roger LaPorte burned himself to death in front of the Dag Hammarskjold Library at the United Nations. He lived for a short while after and in a state of complete lucidity made what the Catholic priest who administered the Sacrament of Reconciliation to him said was “a perfect confession.” In the only public communication he left explaining his action he said, “I did this as a religious act.” There can be little doubt that this serious, informed and empathic twenty-two year old Catholic young man in 1965—when the overwhelming majority of his fellow Catholics, laity, clergy and hierarchy were in support of the war in Vietnam or just indifferent to the slaughter of Vietnamese men, women and children that was taking place under the auspices of the U.S. military, and when the most prominent and powerful Cardinal in the U.S. was aping Stephen Decatur’s words of nationalistic jingoism, “My country right or wrong,” as justification for Catholics slaughtering by the car loads Vietnamese people, 7000 miles away—found meaning, and hence some of his motivation, in the examples of the prior acts of self immolation mentioned above.

Yet, the post-mortem histories of the aforementioned four who immolated themselves to help the people of Vietnam are quite different. Thich Quang Duc, is revered by Vietnamese Buddhists as a bodhisattva (saint), the intersection where he set himself afire has a monument and park dedicated to him and his intact heart is preserved as a relic of the spirit of compassion in a glass chalice. Alice Herz, who was also a refugee from Nazi Germany, has a plaza named after her in Berlin. Shingo Shibata, the Japanese philosopher, established the Alice Herz Peace Fund in her memory. Norman Morrison has a road named after him in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang. In Hanoi a street is named after him and the Government of Vietnam has issued a postage stamp in his honor. An HBO film about him has been made and poems and books have been written about him. Roger LaPorte’s charred dry bones lay in the ground of section 1, row 11 of Saint Alphonsus Cemetery in Tupper Lake, NY. —long dead, long gone and long forgotten.

And so it should be, for such is the case for just about all of the non-warrior victims of war. By political and ecclesial necessity and arrangement the warriors, dead or alive, are fawned over, but the billions of non-warriors they maimed and destroyed must be kept out of sight, out of mind and out of memory, lest they reveal the immensity of the evil the honored warriors and their honorable puppet masters, have done to fellow human beings, who did them no harm and who intended to do nothing harmful to them. In other words the non-warrior victims of the warrior heroes must be expunged from history, must become as if they never existed, or if they existed were of no worth. The victorious warriors and their controllers, who carefully manage the memory of the past, so as to assure that in the future the young will experience being used as violent and lethal warriors as nobly heroic, must drown them in the vastness of time. The non-warrior victims of the honored and obedient warriors and their sting-pullers are, on the other hand, consigned to historical oblivion as unworthy of being remembered, as they were unworthy to continue life. To such a community of the dead has Roger Laporte been consigned—“unwept, unhonored and unsung.”

So on this the fiftieth anniversary of Roger’s death as a non-warrior victim of war, let us pray. “May his memory be eternal*.

-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy                                                                                                                                                                AD November 9, 2015

*This is an ancient Christian prayer. It is derived in part from the awareness that temporal memory, regardless of how hard any human being works to make it otherwise, is a totally perishable phenomenon among totally perishable beings in a totally perishable universe. To be remembered eternally can only happen if the Eternal One, God, remembers one. This prayer for Christians is rooted in the plea of the criminal on the cross beside Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” and in Jesus’ response, “Truly I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise.” In other words to be remember by God—and Jesus for the Christian is God Incarnate—is the same thing as to be in Paradise. To be in Paradise is to be in the Eternal Memory of God and consequently to have Eternal Existence and be granted Eternal Beatitude. Without being remembered by God, we and the memory of us perish forever, regardless of the most strenuous efforts to insure otherwise.

So again, let us pray on this the fiftieth anniversary of Roger’s death as a non-warrior victim of war for him and for all the non-warrior victims of war: “May their memory be eternal.

Aug. 9, Ave Crux, Spes Unica

This homily was delivered by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, at the close of the Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Christian Nonviolence at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City, August 9, 1997. The end of the fast commemorates the date in 1942 that marks the execution Edith Stein (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) by the Nazis at Auschwitz.

Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is Jesus’ prophetic gift to His Churches because she voluntarily gives up all the accouterments of worldly power and wholeheartedly embraces the “powerless,” unrealistic, vulnerable Cross of Christ-like love. She says, “Ave Crux,” “Welcome Cross,” not out of ignorance of alternatives nor out of defeatism. She exclaims with open arms, “Ave Crux” because she knows it is “spes unica,” “our only hope” – the only power that can help, that can save.

Click here to read the homily.

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