Tag Archives: Bishop Walter Sullivan

ON THE LINE: May edition features breaking news on Transformation Now Plowshares, new pope reflection, and more

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

JURY FINDS TRANSFORM NOW PLOWSHARES GUILTY: (from the AP story) “An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee and defaced a uranium processing plant. It took a jury about 2 ½ hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July. Defense attorneys said in closing arguments that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in. ‘The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,’ said Francis Lloyd, who represented Sister Megan Rice of Washington, D.C. ‘You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.’… Read more here: http://news.yahoo.com/jury-finds-3-guilty-weapons-plant-break-222543688.html

Sr. Megan Rice of the Transformation Now Plowshares.

Sr. Megan Rice of the Transform Now Plowshares.

PAX CHRISTI MASSACHUSETTS STATEMENT ON THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING: Chaos, destruction and death visited Boston on Marathon Monday, bearing witness to the perverse power of violence to shatter families, annihilate hope, end dreams, and engender great fear in our hearts. We members of Pax Christi Massachusetts, the Catholic peace organization built on the foundation of gospel nonviolence, and deeply committed to the Way of Peace of Jesus, wish to express our profound sorrow at what has come to pass in our beloved city of Boston. We mourn with the victims and families, and claim kinship with all who will carry their suffering far into the future. We pray for the healing of bodies and spirit and cling to the hope that in this city of great diversity, we remain united in a spirit of compassion and clear thinking… Read the entire statement here: https://paxchristiusa.org/2013/04/22/statement-statement-from-pax-christi-massachusetts-on-the-marathon-bombings/

FORMER PCUSA BISHOP PRESIDENT WALTER SULLIVAN FEATURED IN HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE: (From the Huffington Post, written by PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Fr. John Dear, S.J.) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that if our righteousness does not surpass that of the religious authorities, we will not enter the reign of God. It’s a shocking instruction. He seems to have learned early on that power corrupts, and not just politicians, but professional religious people, too. If professional religious authorities do not break out of the trappings of power, authority, money, and cultic privilege, if they do not embody the Beatitudes and struggle for justice and peace, they will not enter the reign of God. I think he means, not just in the next life, but here and now, in this life, where the reign of God is at hand. We see this play out everywhere today, where our religious leaders go along with the culture of violence and war, and remain silent in the face of warmaking, nuclear weapons, poverty, and violence. They fear rocking the boat, so they do nothing, protect their money, stay close to their benefactors, accept whatever the military tells them, and reject the way of the cross. Or if they speak, they only denounce abortion, claiming to be pro-life, even though they actively support U.S. warmaking and nuclear weapons. In doing so, they come across to the faithful as radically pro-death. They remain clueless to the prophetic vocation which Jesus calls us all to live in the Sermon on the Mount. The exceptions, of course, make the rule, and one great exception was my friend Walter Sullivan, bishop of Richmond, former president of Pax Christi USA, who died on December 11, 2012… Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-dear/walter-sullivan-the-good_b_3186832.html

Pax Christi Houston members join Mothers Demand Action for gun safety.

Pax Christi Houston members join Mothers Demand Action for gun safety.

PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK’S EASTER REFLECTION: “Easter is a time for hope, for renewal, and new life.   Nature is at one with the Resurrection of Jesus, as the first buds on the trees appear, tiny creatures cling to their mothers, and the seas calm from the harsh winds of winter.  It is a time of celebration, a time of growth, and a time of change. The recent installation of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I has given us a very special reason to celebrate, to hope, to renew, to grow, and yes, even to change, as individuals, as a community, and as a Church…” Read the entire reflection here: http://www.nypaxchristi.org/reflection.html

Images of Fr. Bill Bichsel, beloved figure of Pax Christi Pacific Northwest members, are showing up in unusual places!

Images of Fr. Bill Bichsel, beloved figure of Pax Christi Pacific Northwest members, are showing up in unusual places!

PCI CO-PRESIDENT ASKS NEW POPE – BE A SHEPHERD OF PEACE: (from US Catholic by Marie Dennis) “In his resignation statement, Benedict XVI, now the bishop emeritus of Rome, pointed to the great challenge these times present to the papal ministry, speaking in particular about ‘today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.’ Few challenges will be greater for Pope Francis than the challenge of peace—to turn the hearts, minds, and energies of 1 billion Catholics around the world to fulfilling Jesus’ resurrection promise, ‘Peace I leave with you.’ Exactly 50 years ago, Pope John XXIII’s great encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) ended with a prayer that Christ would ‘inflame the desires of all … to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong.’” … Read the rest of the article here: https://paxchristiusa.org/2013/04/18/reflection-be-a-shepherd-of-peace/

PAX CHRISTI TEXAS LEADER DELIVERS SPEECH ON PACEM IN TERRIS: (David Atwood of PC-Texas gave the following talk at the Catholic Library Association Conference.) “It is an honor to address you today on the important subject of Pacem in Terris, the encyclical written by Pope John XXIII that was published in 1963, 50 years ago. I think we would all agree that we need more peace on earth – both in our own nation and throughout the world.  The recent murder of 20 school children in Connecticut as well as the thousands of murders each year in the U.S. are indicative of the problems we have in this country.  The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the current conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, are indicative of the need for peace in the world… Read the entire speech at: https://paxchristiusa.org/2013/04/14/reflection-pacem-in-terris-its-importance-in-current-time/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

June 14-16 – Pax Christi USA National Conference in Atlanta, GA: https://paxchristiusa.org/programs/national-conference-2013/

Quicklinks:

A special supplement by Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore member Scott Wright on “Pacem in Terris” is now included in the Just Peacemaking module from JustFaith Ministries … Tom Cornell delivered the homily at Pax Christi Hudson Valley’s Mass for Peace at St. Augustine Church in Highland, N.Y. on March 16 … Pax Christi members in Upstate New York helped to start a “groceries for guns” program at their parish … Jerry Bettice of PC-Memphis presented a PowerPoint reflection on “The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: The Dream Fulfilled” at the April meeting and at the Young Adults group at St. Patrick Church … Pax Christi members in Maryland were involved in the effort to repeal the death penaltyPax Christi Illinois member Tom Cordaro wrote this prayer following the Boston Marathon bombing … The Washington Post ran an article on the Transform Now Plowshares prior to their May trial … The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, a PCUSA partner, has named Gerry Lee their new directorPax Christi Tampa Bay member Mary Ann Holtz has published “Ten Action Steps for Individuals and Families Responding to the Current Global Crises of Energy, Environment and Economy”Pax Christi Southwest Florida is participating in “Hands Across the Sand” to raise awareness of global climate change … Pax Christi UK has made a YouTube video called “Give Peace a Budget: 7 Ways to Spend $1.7 Trillion”Pax Christi Metro New York’s latest edition of Kerux is now available on the website … Pax Christi Birmingham member Shelley Douglass asks if we will be open to the promptings of the Spirit this Pentecost? … Pax Christi Pacific Northwest member Nick Mele reports on his visit to Fukushima, JapanPax Christi International’s May 2013 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2013 edition of The Peace Current

REFLECTION: ‘Good Bishop’ Walter Sullivan shows how to be good Christians in bad times

Rev. John Dear, S.J.

by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that if our righteousness does not surpass that of the religious authorities, we will not enter the reign of God.

Bishop Walter Sullivan

Bishop Walter Sullivan speaking at anti-torture rally in 2007.

It’s a shocking instruction. He seems to have learned early on that power corrupts, and not just politicians, but professional religious people, too. If professional religious authorities do not break out of the trappings of power, authority, money and cultic privilege, if they do not embody the beatitudes and struggle for justice and peace, they will not enter the reign of God. I think he means not just in the next life, but here and now, in this life, where the reign of God is at hand.

We see this play out everywhere today, where our religious leaders go along with the culture of violence and war and remain silent in the face of war making, nuclear weapons, poverty and violence. They fear rocking the boat, so they do nothing, protect their money, stay close to their benefactors, accept whatever the military tells them and reject the way of the cross. Or if they speak, they only denounce abortion, claiming to be pro-life even though they actively support U.S. war making and nuclear weapons. In doing so, they come across to the faithful as radically pro-death. They remain clueless to the prophetic vocation which Jesus calls us all to live in the Sermon on the Mount.

The exceptions, of course, make the rule, and one great exception was my friend Walter Sullivan, bishop of Richmond, Va., and former president of Pax Christi USA who died Dec. 11.

Click here to read this entire article.