It has been a challenge to add to this blog. We are so divided mostly because of fear and hate mongered by the media like day old fish. I wanted to offer a JPIC point of view on the question to sign on to the request to the city of Flagstaff to divest from financial institutions that are promoting and funding the destruction of the earth as we know it. I am also reminded that many of these financial institutions are stringing out their profits until it becomes more profitable to be vested in renewable energy sources and industry. Once it becomes more profitable to invest and support renewable energy and industry, financial institutions will follow the money and profits.
This morning I read about Blessed Bernard Licthenberg: While his democratically elected government: the Third Reich was rounding up and murdering Jewish neighbors and citizens, he condemned the attack known as Kristallnacht. He regularly prayed for the Jews publicly. He was the provost of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral. He was a Catholic priest in a position of power and he plainly called out a very dangerous Nazi government in straightforward terms. Most in the Catholic Church remained silent or complicit in the face of torture and death of millions. He named the sin: “euthanasia” He said ” I demand of you that you answer for the crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding and with your consent and will call forth the vengeance of the Lord on the heads of the German people.”
Much like our own patron Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter, the Gestapo raided his home, arrested him and put him in a camp. He later died on his way to Dachau in on November 5, 1943. The Gestapo found a sermon he was going to give denouncing the Reich’s Minister of Propaganda’s claim that anyone greeting a Jew on the street was guilty of treason. He wanted to remind his community of Jesus commandment: ” You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
To read the complete story find the story in November’s Give us this Day on page 56. We have numerous models of people of good conscience who risked and lost everything both in and outside the Church. They are Blesseds, Saints, Venerables, holy people of conscience. They saw and named injustice. They didn’t mince words or even worry for their own safety.
In retrospect I think we as a Fraternity should have signed the letter proudly in the spirit of Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter and Blessed Bernard Lictenberg who boldly as Catholics let their voices be heard. It is very Christian and fraternal to stand up in the face of power and money that cares not for people, creation or love.
When I am gone from this earth and no one cares about my opinion I want some evidence to remain that I wasn’t neutral or afraid that I firmly supported causes for the oppressed and lepers, that I loved the unlovable and saw the Beloved in people, places and creation.