Nathan: Church = ecclesia = assembly. we’re called as Christians/catholics to reconciliation. we want to help this Fortnight for Freedom. help it get going with a more open conversation. listen to one another. more voices. speak out toward a new consensus. let the spirit move us to a new consensus on freedom
Susan: this is about listening as well as speaking. a community of listening that’s prayerful
step up, step back
a speakout on freedoms
some of us are planning to spend the night on the sidewalk here. we have extra bedrolls.
freedom of assembly
freedom of speech
freedom from torture
freedom of intellectual thought
freedom not to kill or contribute to killing
Chris: freedom is a nebulous thing. freedom becomes an excuse for war or pushes an agenda.
freedom to believe or not to believe in God. we cannot make ourselves believe
Russell: the bishops are using “freedom” in a politically charged way. the acknowledgement of that is one way of explaining why we’re here and what we’re doing here.
freedom and human rights
Manny: financial freedom. freedom to make a dollar
freedom from stop and frisk and other racisms
freedom through obedience
freedom of privacy of conscience
freedom from pain and suffering
freedom to disagree
freedom and accountability
freedom from war and freedom from supporting war
freedom from domination
freedom from violence
freedom from hierarchy, verticality, manipulation
freedom to self-govern (religions and political organizations)
freedom to love
freedom of movement
freedom from the idea that freedom is mass consumption
freedom from debt
freedom to healthy environment
predatory corporations function in a world where people are hungry, etc.
women cannot join the hierarchy of the church
freedom not to accept what other people think is good for themselves
freedom from violence
freedom from stop and frisk and similar policies (and other discriminations)
freedom from contributing to the war machine (and global capitalism)
freedom to self-govern (in religion and politics)
Stop and Frisk
stop and frisk is real. it’s going on
chris: it’s constitutional, as per the SC
Russell: stop and frisk (like deportations and immigration law enforcement) is an evidencing of a criminalizing of a whole population. related to the prison industrial complex
Chris: There’s also the militarization of the police (as well as the constitutional aspect)
Loren: we’re called to stand with the oppressed. the NYPD is doing a lot of oppressing in this case. it has no inspector general.
Nathan: a lot of people on the SC are Catholics (7 out of 9)
Patricia: in south America there is a side that is the catholic church that identifies with the suffering. I come from Chile, that’s the case there. some priests aligned with Pinochet and some priests aligned with the suffering people. so, there are 7 catholics in the SC…. what kind of catholics are they?
Nathan (as an action item): Occupy Catholics should continue to have a presence at stop and frisk actions
Chris (as an action item): i think the most effective advocacy is local advocacy (it’s not the UN). parish-based advocacy.
Patricia: you can reach out to the parishes of the least privelged/most persecuted. for instance Guadalupe church at 14th (?)
Steve: i was at Francis Xavier’s peace and justice meeting last week. of the 8 people that were there, only 2 even knew what stop and frisk was.
man with dark beard: the U.S. lay conference and USCCB should raise stop and frisk as a justice issue
Chris: all the good things that USCCB does gets ignored by the media. the bad things they do get in the media
Nathan: we can create a document (out of this meeting) that we try to get in the media that makes public what some catholics are caring about
Steve: petition the bishops to make a formal statement on policy
Reuters person: I’m a reporter from Reuters looking for what normal women Catholics actually think about contraception and where it stands in relation to where the bishops are saying
freedom from contributing to the war machine (and global capitalism)
John: American should be able to feel that they fully love their country but not its war policies. real Americans do not want their country to become an imperialist war machine.
Patricia: I’m opposed to war period. I’m opposed to the killing of people who are from other countries. because you were born here and not there? that doesn’t make sense. you’re not from America and you’re from a country that America has a problem with and you may wake up to a war and may die in it? What?!
Manny: I hate the fact that the 1% is making so much money from these wars, and they’re sticking me with the tab
John: we should be saying prayers at the end of mass to end corporate capitalism, as we did 40-50 years with communism
Russell: war is an example (the best example) of how we—the 99%—don’t have control. our voice is not mattering. this is not an authentic democracy.
Chris: subsidiarity is a principle of catholic social teaching. just because you can vote doesn’t mean you have freedom. That’s part of freedom being nebulous; it’s defined by the West to suit their geopolitics. NATO wars give no consideration to local decisionmaking
Nathan: the decl’n of the occupation of NYC’s 1st draft did not even mention war. Occupy to this point hasn’t really spoken loudly on militarism.
John: Pope Paul VI at the UN said “never again to war.” That’s papal catholic teaching. The present hierarchy ought to be made mindful about that and ought to be embarrassed.
Chris: the 2-party system has permeated activism. and we have to get over that. (as activists)
Russell: Occupy Nukes plug.
Steve: Rick Santorum as Catholic. a perversion of the theology that this church is about.
our church says no to war just the way willie wonka says “oh.. don’t do that.”
John: the Republican catholic and the democratic catholic constituencies are tied up in the American moneyed system and all the U.S. enterprises. Rich catholics fund the churches and fund the war machine. so the church doesn’t take the prophetic stances that it must. If it did, its funds would dry up for alienating the people with the money/power.
woman in pink: book recommendation: justified warfare or the way of nonviolence
freedom to self-govern (in religion and politics) (and freedom from the violence of being silenced)
Nathan: why did I get interested in Occupy Catholics in December? I experienced the power of the occupation, from way back to the planning meetings in August. “we the people have found our voice.” it resonated with me a whole lot. I would take a break from the Occupation to go to mass in Bk where I go and it was SO hard to do so. I had an incredible hunger to hear from the people I went to church with. to hear the gospel reflected in their experience. to play out some of the possibilities of what our Church might look like if we were informed by our own common wisdom and experience and not just the homilies of the priests.
Patricia: humanity needs the opportunity to grow and become greater. repression is the problem here. all the manipulation and violence keeps us from evolving. but repression is a futile attempt. you cannot stop the evolution of humanity. we should let go of what was and face what will be. with trust in the road of transformation.
Russell: we’ve just dabbled in the answers of what do to about what’s big and scary and powerful in the world. the last two lengthier remarks have been so beautiful and I’m so grateful to have heard them.
woman in pink: most of us are nonviolent catholics. “just war” is not our favorite doctrine.
John: just war is past its time. you cannot even meet the criteria for just war anymore.
Susan: what does it mean to engage the transformation in a world when different people are on different places with the transformation?
Nathan: Fortnight for Freedom is defending the Church’s autonomy. The Church is here making remarks about what democracy should look like. what do we think about the Fortnight for Freedom?
Chris: subsidiarity again: local communities know best what works for their development. give local groups control.
the structures of the church don’t allow for that control.
Chris: I’m Eastern Catholic; I’m used to parish councils operating quite democratically and I guess I didn’t know the extent to which Roman Catholic parishes are kept out of deciding their own fates.
Chris: there are 21 Eastern churches in union with Rome. we have our own Patriarchs. we do a lot of chanting.
The fact that there are no strong parish councils in the Roman Church is a way that it is closed to change and democracy.
Nathan: there are ways of preserving offices of the Church while still incorporating a democracy
Nathan: rediscovering our Social Teaching in light of the occupy movement (e.g. distributism)
Patricia (as an action item): a project I started: Occupy Within. parallel to the work that we’re doing socially/politically, I would like to add a dimension to our work that makes it personal and internal. “the world has to change, except me” is to me not very revolutionary. we have to see ourselves as being included in that which will be transformed. in many ways we are what we oppose. and we cannot change that part by a magic trick. it’s something we have to work through.
John (as an action item): to, in conversation, plant the seed that helps us and others think differently. we do this by openly expressing our dissent. that plants a seed. say, “I just disagree. I don’t want to argue. I just want to register that I disagree.”
man in green shirt: if you change yourself, that’s substantive. it changes how you behave and what you bring to the world.
let’s pick this topic up again (that is, the social revolution and/versus the revolution of the heart)
Loren: more partipatory democracy is a good thing. more horizontalism is a good thing. communities ought to be able to decide what priest they have. I’m a Catholic for whom mass is often alienating. one of the most satisfying things to me is House Church at catholic wotker communities. we took turns in leadership of this. conversation and change. not just one priest—the same one every week.
Russell: this is about looking at a way that the Church is trying to be democratic. The Church is trying to participate in this so-called Democracy in a limited way. and it can’t participate in true democracy very much or very long, because it itself is not democratic. it can’t face questions about true democracy. it wouldn’t hold up to them. That’s something to keep in mind and return to.
John: Thinking about democracy, to disagree a little bit, the majority of American Catholics would vote for war. democracy has that side of it that is majority rule, that we wouldn’t want some decisions made by “a majority of Americans.”
Loren: I’m grateful for this discussion. I don’t have these often. I’m also geared toward action. what actions can we take to move forward.
woman in pink: the written word. when we have a discussion, it is really key o make a record of that. this is how we know about franz yeberschtat (?). the record is one small way the church might change.
Maybe we should make a record of this event/conversation in four or so paragraphs and send that out to friends. and say, “this is what we were up to. It’s something you could share in / plug into.”
Nathan: we should do more work to help us all feel more comfortable praying in public (and having our prayerful voices heard). evangelical do that very well and we do that very poorly.
As a closing prayer, “an asking.”