Boycott the 2016
Archdiocese for Military Services
In 2012, the US Bishops authorized a collection, every three years, to benefit the Archdiocese for Military Services.
I am boycotting the 2016 national collection in Catholic Churches for the Archdiocese of Military Services, and I accuse the military bishops of material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war. Instead of giving an offering, I am placing the statement below in that collection basket. If others would like to do the same, I have prepared a half page document that can be printed and placed in the collection plate or offering envelope the weekend of November 5-6, 2016, when the offering is to be collected. A PDF version of the document is available at www.justpeace.org/mscollection.pdf. The PDF has two copies on one page to facilitate distribution and to save paper.
Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City
I am not giving to the 2016 Archdiocese for Military Services Collection.
The bishops of the Archdiocese for Military Services, together with nearly all of their brother United States Bishops, are guilty of material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war. In 2003, both Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Benedict XVI, condemned our attack on Iraq as an unjust war. In spite of the Pope’s opposition, the Most Rev. Edwin O’Brien, then Archbishop for the Military Services advised Catholic members of the US Armed Forces: "Given the complexity of factors involved, many of which understandably remain confidential, it is altogether appropriate for members of our armed forces to presume the integrity of our leadership and its judgments and therefore to carry out their military duties in good conscience."
Subsequent events have sadly proven the truth, wisdom, and prudence of Pope John Paul II’s judgment, and the fallacy and danger of the moral relativism embraced by the Bishops of the Archdiocese for Military Services and most of the other US Catholic Bishops regarding unjust war. The consequences cascading from our invasion brought death and injury and social dislocation to hundreds of thousands and devastated the historic Christian communities of Iraq and subsequently Syria. It may fairly be said that those who enabled and supported the war on the people of Iraq are “secondary terrorists” in that they created the objective conditions on the ground in the Middle East that are driving the extreme forms of terrorism currently prevalent in the region. Actions have consequences and those who propose the actions must own the consequences.
Therefore, because of these issues, I am not giving to the collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services. Instead, I will donate to an organization working to resolve the problems caused by war.
It is a sad and scandalous day when a people’s religious leaders fail them so egregiously. I promise to pray for the conversion of the Military Services hierarchy and clergy, and for the moral and physical protection of the members of our Armed Services, who are our sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and children. They deserve religious leaders who will courageously preach and teach all of the Gospel of Christ, not just that which is acceptable to the United States Government.
✙ Text prepared by Bob Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. PDF suitable for download and copying is available at www.justpeace.org/mscollection.pdf. ✙ Place this document in the collection plate or offering envelope for the Military Services collection the weekend of November 5-6. We invite those responsible for forwarding these offerings to the Military Services Archdiocese to also send any of these documents that parishioners give in lieu of a money donation.