Speaker: Eric Martin — co-editor of “The Berrigan Letters”
Date: Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC, 20010.
As the “war on terror” continues into its third presidency and racist ideology finds a growing public space, please join us for a night of discussion about two renowned peacemakers who nonviolently resisted American racism and warmaking. We will explore the letters of brother’s Philip and Daniel Berrigan, who wrote to each other from 1940 to Philip’s death in 2002, to hear in their own voices how they navigated what it means to embrace the prophets and the gospels in America. More than historical documents, the letters give us spiritual resources for those looking to resist the new forms old evils are taking in the Trump era.
Daniel Berrigan, S.J., 94, who died on April 30, 2016, wrote the following words in the Catonsville Nine statement to decry the U.S. massacre in Vietnam. His words ring as true today as on May 17, 1968:
“The time is past when good people can remain silent, when obedience can segregate people from public risk, when the poor can die without defense. We ask our fellow Christians to consider in their hearts a question which has tortured us, night and day, since the war began. How many must die before our voices are heard, how many must be tortured, dislocated, starved, maddened? How long must the world’s resources be raped in the service of legalized murder? When, at what point, will you say no to this war? We have chosen to say, with the gift of our liberty, if necessary our lives: the violence stops here, the death stops here, the suppression of the truth stops here, this war stops here…
Redeem the times! The times are inexpressibly evil. Christians pay conscious, indeed religious tribute, to Caesar and Mars; by the approval of overkill tactics, by brinkmanship, by nuclear liturgies, by racism, by support of genocide. They embrace their society with all their heart, and abandon the cross. They pay lip service to Christ and military service to the powers of death. And yet, and yet, the times are inexhaustibly good, solaced by the courage and hope of many. The truth rules, Christ is not forsaken.”
Eric Martin is a doctoral student and teacher of theology at Fordham University. He co-edited The Berrigan Letters with Daniel Cosacchi in 2016.