See – Judge – Act…Disrupt and Rebuild!

by | Feb 25, 2017 | News

Fr. John Freund has covered the topic on .famvin many times: See – Judge – Act. It has been covered with regards to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, and in a three-part series in relation to Systemic Change. It is a reflection/action process that is very familiar to the Vincentian Family.

Now, in a recent article, Bishop McElroy of San Diego, is calling us to “disrupt and rebuild” during these tumultuous political times.

In the article, “In Powerful Speech, San Diego Bishop Challenges Organizers to Disrupt, Rebuild,” National Catholic Reporter writer Brian Roewe covers a speech that Bishop Robert McElroy gave to community organizers and social justice “protagonists.” Below are excerpts from the article, with a link to the full article at the bottom.

Take a moment to read the Bishop McElroy’s [reported] comments and think of how we, in our Vincentian Family ministries, are Seeing, Judging, and Acting…Disrupting and Rebuilding.

“President Trump was the candidate of disruption. He was the disrupter, he said,” McElroy told those gathered here Saturday morning for the U.S. regional meeting of the World Meeting of Popular Movements. “Well now, we must all become disrupters.”

“We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies, rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need. We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men and women and children as sources of fear rather than as children of God. We must disrupt those who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor. We must disrupt those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children,” the bishop said.

McElroy was not the first bishop to speak at this popular movements gathering, nor the first to rally the audience or address actions of the Trump administration. A day earlier, Archbishop José Gomez, whose see of Los Angeles has nearly 1 million immigrants without legal documentation, called for comprehensive immigration reform in condemning deportation policies of the past two presidents, but in particular the tone of Trump.

“I do not like the harsh tone, the sense of indifference and cruelty that seems to be coming out of this new administration in Washington. They are playing with our emotions, with people’s emotions, toying with their lives and futures, and that’s not right,” Gomez said, later adding “A person is still a person even though he is without papers.”

But the San Diego prelate benefited from the blessing of timing. He followed two days of speakers and participants clamoring for leaders in the Catholic church to step up their involvement in the issues on the board — land, work, housing, racism, and immigration, the latter McElroy identified as “the key one we have to face now in our local church” — and during a panel on labor and lodging, he delivered the message they were waiting to hear.

McElroy couched his remarks to the grass-roots leaders in what he described as the “powerful pathway” of past Catholic movements of “see, act, judge”: to see the situation clearly, to judge with principles that foster the integral development of people, and to act “in a way which implements these principles in the light of everyone’s unique situation.”

“We must make the issues of jobs, housing, immigration, economic disparities, and the environment foundations for common efforts, rather than of division. We must seek prophetic words and prophetic actions which produce unity and cohesion, and we must do so in a spirit of hope, which is realistic,” McElroy said.

The principle of seeing “is the starting point for transformative justice” and served as the backbone of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on the Care for Our Common Home,” McElroy added, but “has seldom been more difficult in our society in the United States.”

He urged people to never be afraid to speak the truth, which lay in empirical reality and the “realities of injustice and marginalization that confront our nation.” He then quoted Francis’ own address to the 2015 World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia, where the pope stated, “When we look into the eyes of the suffering, when they see the faces of the endangered campesino, the poor laborer, the downtrodden native, the homeless family, the persecuted migrant, the unemployed young person, the exploited child, we have seen and heard not a cold statistic, but the pain of a suffering humanity, our own pain, our own flesh.”

“‘See clearly the situation’ is not merely a step in your work on behalf of justice,” McElroy told the audience filled with faith-based and secular community organizers. “It shapes everything that you do to transform our world.”

In addition to becoming disrupters, McElroy called everyone to also become rebuilders in solidarity.

“We have to rebuild this nation so that we place at its heart the service to the dignity of the human person, and asserts what that flag behind us asserts and is our heritage: Every man and woman and child is equal in this nation and called to be equal,” he said.

“So let us see and judge and act. Let us disrupt and rebuild. And let us do God’s work,” McElroy concluded to a final robust round of applause.

Source, Full Article: National Catholic Reporter

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