The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Having been a Catholic priest for 25 years 40 years ago, and having read books like "The Last Week" by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan and "Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace" by Roland Bainton, I am convinced that one of the ways to identify a true follower of Jesus is to see if they are against all wars, all killings. I question whether the Catholic Church is a true follower of Jesus since one does not hear from all the Church's priests and bishops that we must be against all wars and killing. What are the priests who are officers in the military preaching? Are there any Bishops who condemn the nations in which they serve for the killing they are doing? Could the Quakers be the authentic churchgoers who truly follow Jesus command to put away the swords?

In the 1960s as a priest and with the approval of our Bishop we began a new kind of parish. NPR spent an hours program in 1968 on the "New American Catholic". And we were on that program:

We lasted till 1976 when our new Bishop took my priest faculties from me. Today I cherish my life as a priest and my life thereafter. And I have been told that the new Bishop had it in his documents to shut our parish down. And I think this is true.

I must tell you that I became a Family Therapist while in the priesthood and Bishop Reed payed for my way to Columbia University to get a master's degree in the field. Thus I was able to earn my own living. While I left the priesthood, or was pushed out, in 1976, I continued my life in Oklahoma City and had many contacts and teaching from and with Virginia Satir, one of the leading Family Therapists in the U.S. and around the world. Another person in her group was Anne Robertson. Anne was divorced by her husband in the late Seventies. In October of 1982 Anne and I were married. Anne died in 2005.{jcomments on}