Shawn Poynter for The New York Times
Is that so bad?
I think our all inclusive political divides are getting crazy and crazier. If one is conservative one must be against everything conservatives are against; if one is a leftist, one has to be against everything the right wingers favor. Me? I'm against it.
On the anniversary of Hiroshima I noticed a headline on a Catholic news portal calling out Catholic leftists and Japanese bishops as being against nuclear power. Like that is a bad thing. Half the nation of Japan could have been exterminated last year after the earthquake and tsunami devastated Fukishima and spread radiation far and wide. How far and wide? Do you really believe anyone is telling us that? Regardless, one must ask, 'why wouldn't Japanese Bishops be against nuclear power and armament, especially considering the dual holocaust of Nagasaki and Hiroshima'? Is that so far out?
Nunsense - generates stats.
Though we Catholics continue the long tradition of school-boy/seminary-style mockery of nuns, especially now that many are radicalized New Agers, I wonder how fair we are in our snide criticism. Anyone who reads me knows I don't buy into the gnostic-spiritualism the LCWR is incorporating into their horarium, nor do I consider 'school-sisters' real nuns - they are vowed women religious and are called 'sisters' - canonically they aren't nuns - nuns have perpetual vows and some variation of enclosure and stability. I respect the sisters' work in parishes and their other places of employment, and hope they are faithful to Catholic teaching - some are not - and hopefully that will be corrected.
Late last month, Sister Rice set her sights on the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation, which covers more than 50 square miles, including wooded hills. Her aim was to draw attention to its nuclear work. After the break-in, the protesters released an “indictment” accusing the United States of crimes against humanity. - NYT/Sr. Rice
However, it is not un-Catholic to protest nuclear-power/nuclear armament. It is not un-Catholic to be a pacifist in the sense of the Beatitudes, or a conscientious objector, and so on. It is surely part of being pro-life, don't you agree? Aren't these anti-nuke nuns witnessing to the Gospel of Life? Aren't there others who spend themselves defending the unborn, permitting others to work for peace and an end to war - specifically, nuclear war?
“It’s the criminality of this 70-year industry,” she said. “We spend more on nuclear arms than on the departments of education, health, transportation, disaster relief and a number of other government agencies that I can’t remember.” - Sr. Rice
I read a very good article on Sister Megan Rice, the elderly sister who broke into and vandalized the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. I did a post making fun of the break-in and protest. My apologies - sincerely. Because after reading this woman's story - her generous gift of self to Christ and decades of dedicated service to the Church, you have to step back and say, "This woman is not a left-wing-nut!" She can't be relegated to crazy-old-aunt-in-the-attic status as some fellows like to say. This woman has devoted her life to the Gospel, she's remained under obedience to her religious superiors, going wherever she was sent - for decades. All without rewards, awards, money, possessions, popular-acclaim-or-followers-or-donations to enhance her lifestyle... you know what I'm saying.
“We slept in a classroom — no electricity, no water,” she said of her early days in rural Africa. - Sr. Rice
We can't write these women off just because we don't agree - or better put - understand what seems to us to be an excessive involvement in politics - when what they are doing is more certainly directed to human life issues. The bishops are clearly embroiled in politics; from Cardinal Dolan inviting presidential politicians to a swank gala, to the entire USCCB concerned about religious freedom issues, as well as questionable-institutional-funding practices to maybe not so in-accord with Catholic teaching organizations.
Sister Rice served six months in federal prison. “It was a great eye-opener,” she said. “When you’ve had a prison experience, it minimizes your needs very much.” - Sr. Rice
Confused? So am I. But I don't think that gives us license to mock, dismiss and condemn every Catholic activist we deem more liberal than ourselves. I don't know anything about Sr. Rice's spirituality, nor her conscience, much less her state of soul, neither do I know if she gets into the LCWR stuff or the conscious evolutionary stuff? I can't judge her and it is not my place to do so - yep, I'll call out heretical, occult spirituality - but that isn't the issue here. Regarding Sr. Rice and her anti-nuke activism, upon more thoughtful examination, I see her doing a good work - she seeks peace and justice; indeed, she may be fulfilling a prophetic role. Conscientious objectors sometimes commit civil disobedience - some saints have done as much. Perhaps one day, in the not too distant future, some of us may end up sentenced for crimes of conscience.
Again, I apologize to Sr. Rice for making fun of her arrest, her person and her vocation.
Bl. Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943)
Just as the man who thinks only of this world does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there. (Franz Jägerstätter)