If a Catholic should pull out rosary beads on an airplane, or a nun or a monk went through airport security in a religious habit, it would probably not raise suspicions. Many, if not most, security agents are familiar with these symbols.
But what about a Sikh turban or ceremonial dagger? Or a Muslim head scarf? Or what about the Jewish teenager who boarded a plane at La Guardia airport in January 2010 and began to pray by taking out his Teffilin, a set of small prayer boxes that are wrapped around the arm and head. To the flight attendant, it looked suspicious, like he was strapping himself in cables or wires. The pilots decided to land the plane…..and the 17 year old became known in the media as the “Teffilin Terrorist.”
Thanks to Maryknoll Father Joe Veneroso for acquiring the statement from the Maryknoll order about their decision to cut funding to the School of the Americas Watch, which I posted about yesterday here.
A few comments:
* Apparently the decision was made in May, though not communicated to SOA Watch until recently. So it had nothing to do with the recent Vatican statement about women's ordination.
Six universities and colleges have been asked to partner with Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University and the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management to address the growing challenge of keeping talented young adult Catholics engaged in church leadership roles following their graduation from university.
The program, ESTEEM–Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission—debuts this fall at St. Thomas More, Yale, Michigan State University, Stanford, Sacred Heart University, and UCLA.
Last week, one of Voice of the Faithful's regional leaders, John Hynes, passed away suddenly. John was the chair of the movement's Boston Area Council when the Boston archdiocese decided to close dozens of parishes in a painful process that still impacts the archdiocese today, six years later.
Great article in The Tablet of London today:
Anguish of a beautiful people: An African tragedy, by Jan de Volder
"The Democratic Republic of Congo has been celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence. But the end of colonialism has been marred by poor governance and bloodshed. Only the work of missionaries in education and health care has prevented total chaos. ... Even on a political level, the Church in Congo was and is influential."
The news from Heidi Schlumpf about Maryknoll's shutting off aid from School of the America's Watch looks like another sign of how far a fear-ridden church can twist priorities to get its way.
This deprives the major protest against America's training of repressive Latin American militia of a reported $17,000. It's not a huge figure in itself but signals a much more pervasive moral decay.
Like many other Americans, I've held the Maryknoll order in high regard for its commitment to justice and humanitarian missions. That makes it even tougher to be critical of it's priests and brothers for apparently caving to pressures from Rome.
The reason given for ending support for the Weach is that its leader, Ray Bourgeois, believes women should be ordained to the priesthood.
Bowing to a Vatican petrified by women is, therefore, given a higher moral priority than standing against sharpening the military skills of Latin Americans, some of whom have been linked in the past to war crimes against opponents of established regimes.
Prosecutors drop investigation of German bishops' conference president, no proof he abetted a priest's sexual abuse by reassigning him
The Maryknoll Brothers and Fathers have withdrawn their long-standing commitment to funding the School of the America's Watch because its founder, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, supports women's ordination, reports SOA Watch.
The order previously contributed $17,000 a year to the organization that seeks to close seeks close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (or Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, as it has been renamed). Graduates of the combat training school located at Fort Benning, Georgia, have been implicated in the torture and murder of educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor in Latin America.
SOA Watch is asking supporters to help make up the lost revenue by donating $17 a month for one year.
Call to Action Executive Director Jim FitzGerald "is "disappointed in the decision that will affect not only the SOA Watch staff and programs, but the people of Latin American who work in partnership with SOA Watch to protect their families and communities," he said in an email.