Notes on peace and justice

Priests, women religious, Catholic Workers among 24 arrested in K.C.

Five women enter the National Security Campus in Kansas City, Mo., July 13 to protest the construction of nuclear weapons under the watchful eye of police. (Courtesy of Bryan Lloyd)

Five women enter the National Security Campus in Kansas City, Mo., July 13 to protest the construction of nuclear weapons under the watchful eye of police. (Courtesy of Bryan Lloyd)

For Oblate Father Bill Antone, a few hours behind bars last Saturday was far tougher than any night he has spent camping in the wildest countryside.

The provincial of the U.S. province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate got a taste of jail life for the first time following his arrest on the grounds of the new National Security Campus under construction in Kansas City, Mo. He was among 24 people cited for trespassing for crossing onto the edge of the campus July 13 to call for an end to the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

He was there at the invitation of fellow Oblate, Father Carl Kabat of St. Louis, who has spent more than 17 years behind bars for his lifelong pursuit of ending nuclear weapon production and storage. Father Kabat, 79, was arrested as well.

Father Antone, 61, told Catholic News Service the experience was worthwhile.

“It’s incredible the amount of money we spend to maintain a nuclear arsenal in our country,” he said. “It’s really something in our right minds we would never use. We keep and maintain it even though the rhetoric is to disarm.”

The arrestees entered the campus by walking through a door brought to the site. It was emblazoned with a banner reading “Open the door to a nuclear weapons-free world.”

In all, about 80 protesters organized by PeaceWorks, Kansas City joined the hourlong protest, the most recent in a series as construction has continued on the campus run by the National Nuclear Security Administration and contracted to Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies. The main facility, the size of more than a dozen football fields, will manufacture non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons.

Jesuit Father Bill Bichsel of Tacoma, Wash., Franciscan Father Jerry Zawada of Milwaukee, Notre Dame Sister Theresa Maly of Kansas City, Mo., Charity Sister Cele Breen of Leavenworth, Kan., Christian Brother Louis Rodemann of Kansas City, Mo., and several Catholic Workers from throughout the Midwest were among those walking through the door and taken into custody.

Jane Stoever, 70, a volunteer with Holy Family House, a Catholic Worker community in Kansas City, was among those detained for several hours.

“I come in immediate contact with hungry people at Holy Family Catholic Worker,” she said. “I see where the resources of the country are not funneling down to those in need and there are many needs in this country crying for attention.”

Court dates are set for September.

Council for Research in Values and Philosophy honored

After decades of research and promoting intercultural understanding, the Washington-based Council for Research in Values and Philosophy will be honored with the Global Dialogue Prize.

Since its founding in the early 1960s, the council has published more than 300 books and sponsored dozens of seminars around the world focusing on cross-cultural topics.

Oblate Father George F. McLean, professor emeritus of philosophy at The Catholic University of America, has been council president since Day One.

He told CNS the council brings members of the worldwide academic community together to explore, discuss and research topics with the goal of promoting intercultural understanding.

During the Cold War, the council worked to connect with philosophers, social scientists and others in Eastern Europe. By the 1990s, the effort turned to China as the country began lifting restrictions on international contacts.

The Global Dialogue Prize was established to promote intercultural value research. Its sponsors said such research is important at a time the world faces global policy challenges including climate change and numerous issues related to global health and security.

The award will be presented Aug. 4 at the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy at the University of Athens in Greece. Father McLean will be there.

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One Response to Notes on peace and justice

  1. John Two Dogs says:

    Bravo to these brave people, We need more nukes like a hole in the head, but this debate will go on for a long time, as it confronts two great American pathologies , guns and race.

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