BALTIMORE (RNS) — “America’s newest cardinal called on his fellow bishops to challenge lawmakers who want to cut Ukraine military aid, urging prelates to speak out against leaders in the next Congress angling to reduce U.S. support for the country as it battles Russian invaders.
Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego, who was elevated by Pope Francis in August, offered his challenge Wednesday (Nov. 16) after the bishops heard a presentation on the situation in Ukraine by Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Borys Gudziak, who oversees the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, PA. Borys Gudziak detailed the horrific devastation wrought by Russia’s invasion, telling personal stories and showing images of the destruction.
After Bishop Gudziak finished, McElroy went to the microphone on the assembly floor. Nonviolence is important regarding issues of war and peace, he said, but the situation in Ukraine “is an instance where justice requires [violent, homicidal] resistance.” (Clarifying emphasis added in brackets by ECM)
He then warned that some incoming members of Congress have stoked “rumblings of cutting support to Ukraine from the United States.”
“That could be very ominous in terms of the continuity, the flow of weapons and support, that is essential to convincing [by homicidal violence-ECM] the Russians that they cannot succeed,” McElroy said. “I would urge the conference to make it a very high priority to move quickly to preempt, in all the ways available to us, any moves in our national policy in that direction.”
As he finished, his fellow bishops burst into applause.” -End of RSN Report
How did a Ukrainian Bishop get on the agenda of the Bishops’ national meeting in the first place in order to tell the wrenching and true story of the sufferings of the Ukrainian people? Why was not a Russian Bishop also invited to tell the wrenching and true story of the sufferings of the Russian people in the Ukraine since the U.S. backed the bloody coup of 2014? Is it morally permissible to get one’s information about a war that the U.S. is involved in only from the U.S. media and then apply the Catholic just war theory to it as a way of morally validating it? Does not the pursuit of “justice,” which Bishop McElroy insists he is about, demand hearing, studying, analyzing and praying over the other side of conflicting narrative? And, if as the Church teaches in Canon 1752 (CIC), “The salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law of the Church, is to be kept before our eyes,” where in the teaching of the Savior of souls, Jesus, does it say or is it consistent with the teaching of Jesus to say, that where Christlike love fails, homicidal violence is a salvific substitute for obtaining justice?
How did it happen that a Bishop, who is a known out and out public just-warist Cardinal, is given immediate recognition after the Ukrainian Bishops’ talk, to speak from the floor? Coincidence? Prior arrangement? If by prior arrangement, what motivated the decision to hear Cardinal McElroy call to arm dissertation from the floor as an epilogue to Bishop Gudziak?
Were there any Catholic Bishops present who did not stand up and applaud Robert McElroy’s intervention from the floor for more homicidal gadgets and gizmos to be sent to Zelenskyy and company? Who, among the Catholic Bishops present thought that Bishop Robert McElroy’s impassioned plea to the U.S. Catholic Bishops was pastorally destructive, a bold-faced public rejection of the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and a blatant betrayal the Great Commission he was explicitly given by Jesus when Jesus said to the Apostle and their successors: “Go therefore…and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20)? Did any Bishop publicly call into question the moral validity of what Robert McElroy had just said publicly as a Bishop and as a Baptized Christian? Did it even enter into the scope of Cardinal McElroy’s moral evaluation as a Christian and as a Bishop that all parties on all side of the mutual slaughter in the Ukraine are, like himself, all Baptized, Chrismated (Confirmed) and Eucharist receiving Christians and members of the Body of Christ, who are under a specific Divine mandate and command to “Love your enemies,” in the model that Jesus loved His enemies, and to “Love one another as I have loved you?”
The power of perception of people who live in a system of deception is darkened. A person living within such a system(s) can no longer see what otherwise would be routinely obvious. A person cannot respond as he or she should to what they cannot see or can only perceive vaguely through the manufactured fog of systematic deceit.
Since Bishop McElroy’s diocese, San Diego, has the largest naval base in the world, the largest ship and submarine building program on the west coast and exists in a local economy where the military provides 25 % of the GDP and provides 23% of the total jobs and that abounds in civilian defense contractors, maybe he has an excuse for not seeing that truth is the first casualty of war, for not seeing that the U.S. media is not the place to get honest and accurate information about a U.S. war and for not seeing that he has flagrantly contradicted the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels and for not seeing that he is disobeying the Great Commission given to him by Jesus as a successor of the Apostle.
But, what about all the other Catholic Bishops present who rose in unison and gave him and his thoughts a rousing standing-O? Did they all think that what they had just heard was what Jesus would have said to the members of His Body, to His disciples, Gudziak and therefore they with one heart rose to their feet and gave it a non-verbal “Amen,” So be it”?
Or, was this a pre-planned and choreographed U.S. Catholic Episcopal theatrical performance staged not to reveal and witness to the holiness and love of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, but rather to keep the institutional Church in the good pseudo-graces of the serpentine deceitful system of the worlds of the politics of luxury wealth and the politics violent, homicidal power, from which is orchestrated all wars, all oppression, all indifference to relievable suffering and all divisions within the human family?