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Three Transform Now Plowshares
who shut down a new nuclear
For some now I have been working on a three part essay called The Catholic Church in North Central Milwaukee. I am still not done with some editing, formatting, adding footnotes and pictures. But after working on this three part essay in bit and pieces for a long time I finally see the light at the end. The topic sounds quite non controversial but the titles of the three parts of the essay will give you more of a taste of how it may be controversial: Separate but Equal, Million Dollar Move and St. Vincent De Paul Stalled. Basically it is about how the Catholic Church in Milwaukee contributed to forming the North Central area, the most segregated (African American) area of the most segregated city in the USA according to 2010 U.S. Census and the poorest area of Milwaukee, the 4th poorest city in the USA.
If I did a good job I probably will be ignored, especially by the Catholic Church. If I did a poor job I will probably be criticized. If I cannot focus the spotlight on the message and get the 1.1 million dollars back into the area from which it came, I guess it will be better to be ignored than criticized. They say the “truth will set us free” but I found out that statement is true only if a person wants to be free. I would love to have some of my facts and opinions challenge and have a civil dialog about the message of these essays. But in today’s world ‘civility’ means for some no controversy and “everyone has a right to their opinion” no matter how destructive it is.
I was reading and listening today about the opinions and statements of the new vice presidential candidate from Wisconsin, Rep. Ryan. While he might be a nice guy and he is a Catholic, his strong opinion of the goodness of “individualism” and selfishness and the evil of “collectivism” and altruism goes against all I have learned about Catholic Social teaching.
Also today I read about a 83 year old Catholic nun who with two senior citizens got to the inner sanctum of one the new 6.5 billion nuclear weapons complex being built by the present administration. The facility is on lockdown. Clearly these Catholic activists, now facing 16 years of prison were not doing this for individual or selfish reasons but for the common good to protest against “an economy and social structure based upon war-making and empire-building.”
In my three essays the Catholic Church acted for individual and self centered reasons while contributing to the segregation and poverty of North Central Milwaukee. If the Church would have practiced Catholic Social teaching of working for the ‘common good’ and the “preferential option for the poor” who know what we would see today in this area. The choice is clear, individualism or collectivism.