Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comments by Francis Cardinal George inconsistent with Theology of Social Justice and Peace

The Theology of Social Justice and Peace advocates the responsibility of all branches of the Catholic faith to provide the voice and, if necessary, the physical presence to counter any and all attempts to deny or prevent any person from their God-given rights and dignity.

With all due respect, I believe that Cardinal George’s comments, equating advocates of human rights for gays and lesbians with the KKK, have failed to witness these values and obligations which are held sacred by all catholic jurisdictions.

Sometimes these actions must go beyond writing letters to the Editors or posting personal Blogs. It is the baptismal obligations of all Catholics, regardless of their jurisdiction to sometimes take strong and proactive stances to fight all forms of injustice to others.

The history of the pastoral administration of the Catholic faith is permanently stained by its many past acts of social prejudices and even the murders of others in the ‘name of the faith.’ These past sins of our shared history must be atoned for by this generation of all branches of Catholicism through the embracement of the sacredness rooted in the Theology of Social Justice and Peace.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we need not compare those who advocate peace and justice within the Kingdom of God on Earth to the KKK. We need to compare the faith of these advocates, these modern workers in the vineyard - to that of our Holy Family.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Revisiting Chicago's "Our Lady of the Expressway."

In 2005, claims were made that a water stain on the inside street level wall of a overpass on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway resembled an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For weeks, swarms of people came to this site at the intersection of Fullerton Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway to view this site.

As a priest, I was impressed with the desire of these people to find encouragement that brought them to prayer and faith.

Since 2005, the crowds have gone, but a continuing makeshift shrine to our Lady has been tended to and small numbers of visitors continue to come.

Yesterday, I revisited this place of faith and prayer, nicknamed "Our Lady of the Expressway" and/or "Our Lady of the Fullerton Bypass." I found candles burning and fresh flowers support a makeshift shrine to our Lady. The walls had much writing on it - not graffiti, but rather deeply personal prayers to the Blessed Mother.

I cannot tell anyone with absolute certainty that at this site, our Blessed Mother did indeed appear, but I can state with certainty that this site draws people to prayer and to faith and maybe that is the more important miracle.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interracial Couples Banned from Kentucky Church

According to press reports out of Kentucky, "In a move to "promote greater unity" among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities."

Recently, Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church, voted to ban interracial couples from "from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals."

I would love to know where Pastor Melvin Thompson studied for his theological degree.