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Tryggvi
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Diocese asks Catholics to atone for sin of racism
http://www.indystar.com/images/clear.gif
http://www.indystar.com/images/clear.gif
By Ken Kusmer
Associated Press
October 4, 2004

http://forums.skadi.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=22406&stc=1
Speakers (from left) Dawn Wojkovich, Portia Johnson,
Martha Gonzalez and Edith Rivera prayed at a gathering
in East Chicago and shared stories of how racism had
touched their lives. -- Lisa Schreiber / Associated Press

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- Lupe Valtierra dutifully recited his prayers with his Catholic school classmates, using the Spanish in which his parents had passed on their faith.

"You need to learn your prayers in English because God doesn't understand Spanish," the nun scolded him.

Four decades later, the remark still stings. And it symbolizes the racism the Diocese of Gary is confronting in an effort to convert its 187,000 Catholics from a century-old history of ethnic divisions into a multicultural, welcoming church.

A series of listening sessions patterned after South Africa's post-apartheid conversations culminated Sunday in an atonement service at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary. In it, the diocese took account of racist acts as overt as an epithet hurled at a biracial camper and as subtle as a black child excluded from white classmates' birthday parties.

The effort in one of the nation's most segregated urban areas is being watched closely by bishops across the country. Priests as far away as Japan have requested information to help their own diversity efforts.

Other churches have confessed their racism, including the Southern Baptist Convention in 1995 and the United Methodist Church in 2000. Many Catholic dioceses issued public apologies during the 2000 jubilee year, a traditional time for atoning.

What sets the Gary Diocese apart is the way it's doing it. Bishop Dale Melczek began by selling priests, schoolteachers and parish councils on the need for a multiyear initiative targeting racism. In doing so, he carefully laid its foundation at the parish level, where the faithful gather each Sunday.

It's leadership comparable to that demonstrated by President Harry Truman when he integrated the armed forces, said the Rev. Clarence Williams, of Detroit, an expert on race relations in Catholicism.

"People get it together when leaders call them to bring it together. Everybody has a stake in bringing our society together," said Williams, who leads diocesan workshops across the country.

Melczek came to the four-county diocese from Detroit in 1992 and reacquainted himself with the segregation he had known growing up in Dearborn, Mich. Blacks account for five of every six Gary residents but less than 1 percent of the population in middle-class suburbs a few miles away, local planning reports show.

Eastern European immigrants flocked to Gary nearly a century ago, drawn to jobs at the U.S. Steel mill on the shores of Lake Michigan. Many were Catholic, and the church established parishes along ethnic lines of Germans, Italians, Poles, Hungarians and other nationalities. They left a legacy of Catholicism that today includes a quarter of the region's residents.

The ethnic parishes served the new immigrants but also kept them from mixing, said Dan Lowery, executive director of the nonprofit Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council. Church became a haven where the expatriates didn't need to come across people of other ethnicities.

"It set the stage where the local church can reflect some of the worst aspects of segregation in the larger society," Lowery said.

The booming industry in the shadow of Chicago also drew blacks from the Deep South. The bias once directed against the immigrants was deflected toward the newer arrivals, who later would include Hispanics.

"It's often people who have been discriminated against who discriminate," Melczek said in an interview.

After Melczek became bishop in 1996, many Catholics asked him whether Holy Angels would join the other institutions fleeing gritty downtown Gary. Instead, he compelled white Catholics to return to their roots by moving a sacramental rite of passage out of the parishes: In 2000, he held confirmations only at the cathedral.

A four-day meeting of the diocese's priests the next year built a consensus for making fighting racism a priority for the diocese. With the priests on board, and later the teachers and parish councils, Melczek in 2002 issued a pastoral letter calling on all Catholics in the diocese to take stock of the cultural heritages of their parishes. At his urging, many built bridges to other parishes, breaking down ethnic lines.

Last year he issued a second pastoral letter focusing on racism. It cited not only the Bible but also contemporary black studies scholar Cornel West.

"Racism has so permeated our culture and the institutions of our society that it is a social as well as a personal sin. Just as individuals stand in need of conversion, so, too, do the institutions of our society," Melczek wrote.

Fellow bishops, including Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia and Theodore McCarrick of Washington, praised the letter.

The letter sparked parish discussions that elicited the tales of prejudice that became the heart of four listening sessions, including a recent gathering of 300 Roman Catholics in a Merrillville parish hall.

After hearing Valtierra and three women speak, the audience broke into small groups to consider what the church should do about racism.

Further changes must start with the individual, said Malcolm Lunsford, a retired pipe fitter and ordained deacon. No matter how trivial a racist comment may seem, Catholics must object as a matter of faith, he told the Merrillville gathering.

"It's very hard to do the first time, but it gets easier," Lunsford said.


[Source (http://www.indystar.com/articles/5/183751-1845-009.html)]

Libertad
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 12:27 PM
"You need to learn your prayers in English because God doesn't understand Spanish,"
ahhhhhhhhh! that was the reason!!!!
why did anyone tell me that before?:~(
but, Is it good or bad thing to me?

Tryggvi
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 04:33 PM
ahhhhhhhhh! that was the reason!!!!
why did anyone tell me that before?:~(
but, Is it good or bad thing to me? How strange of God that he spoke Hebrew. And even stranger that he didn't learn it better. ;)

gorgeousgal2k2
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 04:48 PM
how could He not understand Spanish? I'm sorry but that's crap...

Anyway what they are doing is a form of racism by saying that the Spanish language is worse than the English language...

sometimes it can get ridiculous

Tryggvi
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 06:56 PM
Anyway what they are doing is a form of racism by saying that the Spanish language is worse than the English language... It's not even racism in the widest sense of the word, as both the English and Spanish belong to the same race.


sometimes it can get ridiculous Verily. ;)

Taras Bulba
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 09:03 PM
"You need to learn your prayers in English because God doesn't understand Spanish," the nun scolded him.

Why am I not suprised that an American nun is this stupid? I dont know where to begin refutting this bullshit.

How about Babel, where God created all the languages. How about Pentecost, where Christ himself recognizes and blesses the diversity of languages and cultures over the earth. Christianity has never had a sacred language; and if it did it would be Aramaic not English.

American Catholicism(even the so-called "Traditionalists) are a fucking joke and an absolute insult to Christ and his church. As one Orthodox commentator stated(and I can post it here if anybody wants) and it hit the nail right on the head: "Are there any Christians in America?"

Stríbog
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 10:04 PM
How about Babel, where God created all the languages.

LOL not even most Catholics believe all of the Old Testament literally...

Taras Bulba
Sunday, October 10th, 2004, 10:14 PM
Thank god I have Stribog on ignore now.....ahhhh I really enjoy this feature! :bounce

Tryggvi
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 03:27 AM
As one Orthodox commentator stated(and I can post it here if anybody wants) and it hit the nail right on the head: "Are there any Christians in America?" Please do so. :)

Libertad
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 06:31 AM
LOL not even most Catholics believe all of the Old Testament literally...
excuse me???????
What do you want?
An actualizing edition of the OT?
Do you want to beat all dust from ever and ever...???:-O

ohhh...;( I am remembering all those catequesis class....
nnnnnnnooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gil
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Right now for only 66.66 € you can have the Holy Bible v.1.2 (revised) by our friends at Christsoft Corp.! This new (improved) version doesn't condemn previous "sins" like adultery and murder. Feel free to browse our unique version of the Bible, the iBible! where you can find an excuse for any particular sin you might have commited....

Just joking mates ;)

Well, I always thought that the american society was a protestant one, and catholicism means shitte to them....

Cheers

Gentilis
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 03:17 PM
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- Lupe Valtierra dutifully recited his prayers with his Catholic school classmates, using the Spanish in which his parents had passed on their faith.

"You need to learn your prayers in English because God doesn't understand Spanish," the nun scolded him.

Four decades later, the remark still stings.
Lupe needs to get over it. How sad that his self-esteem can be affected by a stupid nun. He needs to get himself a DVD of the Blues Brothers and watch it 500 times in Spanish. :P



And it symbolizes the racism the Diocese of Gary is confronting in an effort to convert its 187,000 Catholics from a century-old history of ethnic divisions into a multicultural, welcoming church.
There you have it folks, in black and white: the whole thing is just a cynical multiracial ploy to help increase catholics numbers...



Blacks account for five of every six Gary residents but less than 1 percent of the population in middle-class suburbs a few miles away, local planning reports show. And so...?



The ethnic parishes served the new immigrants but also kept them from mixing Makes sense. They wouldn't be ethnic in the first place if mixing was the order of the day. I guess these parishes wanted to preserve their cultural identity.


Church became a haven where the expatriates didn't need to come across people of other ethnicities. Curious how nobody screams racism when the Chinese segregate themselves in with their chinatowns.



No matter how trivial a racist comment may seem, Catholics must object as a matter of faith Unless, of course, the recipient of the comments happens to be a Jew or a Protestant. ;)

The fact that this struggle has been confined to fellow members the Catholic faith speaks plenty on the motives of the church elders. Overall, not a bad strategy for getting more Third World baby-maker converts to embrace mother church and make plenty more Catholics.

Nordic Dream Maiden
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 05:18 PM
...in East Chicago and shared stories of how racism had
touched their lives. -- Lisa Schreiber / Associated Press And the Catholics are criticized for staying with just old traditions & not in touch with what the other anti-white Churches do? Said who? They are with the times.

Any Skadi member in East Chicago? Please give a testimony on how racism touched your live. An example: Hi, my name is John Goodson and I have a story to share--one day I was walking to my car after church and was confronted by three adult male blacks who said, "Honky give me your money, you have taken money from us, and we want it back," well I gave them a $20 and they said I was loaded and then beat me up calling me all sorts of racist names and then they carjacked my car my deceased Grandma gave me and they ran it into another car injuring someone severely. When I told the preacher he said to forgive them and not to pursue charges as white people didn't do enough to help them. Anyway I came back to the Catholic church and am presently carrying a legal concealed handgun. Thank you. Note: don't say your going to tell this story to the screener; give another touchy feely they would like to hear and then watch their face contort with the real one.

zeno
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 05:55 PM
Diocese asks Catholics to atone for sin of racism
http://www.indystar.com/images/clear.gif
http://www.indystar.com/images/clear.gif
By Ken Kusmer
Associated Press
October 4, 2004


Blacks account for five of every six Gary residents but less than 1 percent of the population in middle-class suburbs a few miles away, local planning reports show.

Eastern European immigrants flocked to Gary nearly a century ago, drawn to jobs at the U.S. Steel mill on the shores of Lake Michigan. Many were Catholic, and the church established parishes along ethnic lines of Germans, Italians, Poles, Hungarians and other nationalities. They left a legacy of Catholicism that today includes a quarter of the region's residents.

The ethnic parishes served the new immigrants but also kept them from mixing, said Dan Lowery, executive director of the nonprofit Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council. Church became a haven where the expatriates didn't need to come across people of other ethnicities.

"It set the stage where the local church can reflect some of the worst aspects of segregation in the larger society," Lowery said.

[Source (http://www.indystar.com/articles/5/183751-1845-009.html)]


Outside agitators who want Whites in Gary to “atone for their sins” have no idea of the history of Black-White relations in the city. They neglect to mention the crime, violence and intimidation inflicted on the White community and how Whites in Gary were pretty much forced to flee the city they had built with their own hard work. White businesses and families were continually robbed, harassed and intimidated; it became impossible for Whites to walk through their own neighborhoods in safety or for White parents to send their kids to the same schools that they themselves had attended with pride just a few years earlier. Whites in Gary have suffered so much: the loss of their historic neighborhoods and businesses, the loss in property values of their houses which they had so beautifully maintained, the loss of a historic proud, industrious, family-based community, the forced dispersal of an entire community. What happened to the White community in Gary was a tragedy and no outside agitators will ever be able to cover up that fact. These agitators might be able to brainwash people elsewhere, but no one who lived through the fall of Gary will ever buy into this “atonement/White guilt” garbage. Unfortunately, most people who haven’t lived through all of this just won’t understand. ;(

Taras Bulba
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 08:22 PM
Please do so. :)

http://www.serbianna.com/columns/weber/006.shtml

Are There Any Christians in America?
By T.V. Weber

So many Orthodox Christians were martyred in the twentieth century that the number of those martyred in Roman times has become comparatively insignificant. That’s right: all of the human lion food, all of the human torches, and all of the other Christians executed, from the time of the stoning of Stephen until Emperor Constantine’s legalization of Christianity, are a mere drop in the bucket compared to those Christians who gave their lives in the twentieth century.

Americans have no concept of the price of faith. Overfed Baptists who condemn everyone who disagrees with them, secular Methodists who rationalize and condone just about every type of evil behavior, and Catholics who cheerfully deposit funds in the collection plate so that their bishop can pay off the victims of pedophile priests, have one thing in common: they simply do not get it.

Of course, there are those groups of adherents outside of mainstream Christianity, which the mainstream refers to as “cults.” They have their sacred books other than the Bible, or a Jesus who is not really the Son of God, or some leader who has had private revelations. By and large, with the exception of David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, these quasi-Christian organizations have been allowed to preach their take on life with little or no interference from the government or the communities where they reside.

What a complacent and naively romanticized view of Christianity we have here in America! While the focus may change from denomination to denomination, or from cult to cult, the common expectation is that “the living is easy”—that the need for sacrifice and courage is a thing of the distant past.

Thus, it is considered a major “persecution” when a boss suggests that an employee should not leave a Bible open—or even closed—on a desk at the office. A public school that lets the French club use a classroom after school, but won’t let a student-run Bible-study club do the same, becomes a major target of Christian scorn. And what torture it is when a local church is not allowed to put up its traditional Nativity display in the town square! Any of us can still place an entire reenactment scene in our own front yard!

I hasten to point out that I do not intend to demean solid American Christians of any denomination. My observations should not be interpreted in any manner that suggests I am looking for excuses to find fault with other Christians, so as to curry favor from a zealous Orthodox Christian readership. My intention is simply to point out the fact that however well intentioned other American Christians might be, they seem to be completely indifferent to the plight of their Orthodox brothers and sisters in faith.

Persecution of Orthodox Christians

When the subject of recent persecution is broached, American Christians are quick to think of Protestants in China, or Catholics in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world where there is a strong missionary presence, but somehow the plight of Christians in the Orthodox world fails to show up on the radar screen as religious persecution.

How is it that we view the Nazi holocaust against the Jews as religious persecution, but the massive Nazi exterminations of Orthodox Christians as a non-event—even when these Christians were slaughtered alongside the Jews in the very same death camps and killing fields? Over a million Serbs, Orthodox Christians, were executed by the forces of the Third Reich; approximately 700,000 of them perished at Jasenovac death camp. Auschwitz is preserved as a memorial to the Jews who perished there, and well it should be. Even prayer by a non-Jewish religious leader, such as the Pope, is viewed with suspicion. Yet, the world stood silently by when the Croatians took a bulldozer to the remnants of Jasenovac.
Taras Bulba: Too many times I've posted this article and then all discussions become focused on this one minor paragraph. Can we please avoid it this time and focus on the major issue of the article?

When we speak of Stalin’s mass murders, from the 1920s through the early 1950s, we rightly attribute it to the evils of Communism. But does anyone ever notice whom Stalin was starving to death? The Communists were, by definition, atheists. Atheism and materialism were key tenets of Soviet ideology. Thus, more often than not, their victims, in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other Slavic lands, were Orthodox Christians.

The long and agonizing destruction of Yugoslavia, particularly the last two rounds of warfare in Bosnia and Kosovo, involved considerable religious overtones. Had the world press viewed this conflict in the same terms as it did other conflicts based on religion, the war in Bosnia would have been clearly portrayed as Islamic forces fighting against Roman Catholic forces, both of which were fighting against Orthodox forces. The war in Kosovo would have been viewed as radical Islamic forces battling Orthodox forces. Instead, the wars were cast in terms of racial struggles.

Western reporters were astounded when Serbs in Kosovo would offer weapons or protection to their Shiptar neighbors, whom the Western press called “Albanians,” or even “Kosovars.” It never occurred to the reporters that there might be a reason why some of the Shiptars got along well with their Serbian neighbors in Kosovo, while others did not. The fact that Christian neighbors might offer one another protection from attack by Islamic extremists was well beyond the intelligence—in either sense of the word—of any American reporter prior to September 11, 2001.

But are there any Christians in America? Any Christian should have realized that the Kosovo War was a conflict between Christian Serbia and Muslim extremists who have slowly invaded Kosovo—the Serbian Holy Land—and claimed it as their own. Serbian Americans, Greek Americans, Macedonian Americans, Russian Americans, and so forth, seemed to be the only ones in this part of the world who “got it.”

So, a more interesting question would be: are there any real Christians in America, other than the Orthodox? If so, why did these Christians not object to Clinton’s war on Christianity in the Balkans?

What Happens During Other Religious Conflicts?

For many years, in the view of the American public, the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland represented the quintessential conflict based upon religious differences. But on a deeper level, it is not a question of religion, but a question of British occupation of Ireland, that has always motivated the conflict. Yet, as news reportage would have it, one side is described as “Roman Catholic,” while the other side is characterized as “Protestant” without any focus on denomination or on the tenets of their beliefs. This conflict is primarily a British problem, but it has become a big issue to the U.S. government, as well.

What does the “world community”—such as it is—do about the problem in Northern Ireland? They encourage the warring sides to make peace. How does the “world community” enforce the peace? It applies diplomatic pressure.

There never is any use of force by the—U.S. dominated—world community. And here’s why: There simply are too many Roman Catholics and too many Protestants in the United States to admit that possibility.

Another hot spot of religious war is Israel. The Western press seems to endlessly belabor the fact that the Israelis are Jews, but, at least until the September 11 attack, they barely seemed to notice that the vast majority of the Arabs who are claming status as “Palestinians” are Muslims. Of course, any remark to that effect invites critics to haul out a few dozen non-Muslims who side with the Muslim Palestinians. After all, whenever people choose sides, there are always exceptions. Every American who finished grade school should know that even the makeup of the opposing armies in American War for Independence was not that cut-and-dried. George Washington crossed the Delaware to defeat German (then known as Prussian and Hessian), not British, troops. It was the French forces, not American forces, who caused the British to “throw in the towel” after Cornwallis surrendered. So, spare me the tale about your uncle who claims to be a Unitarian or whatever, but who lives in Gaza and supports the Palestinians.

The “Middle East peace process” has been a major part of the agenda that American Presidents have been expected to “manage,” ever since the days when Jimmy Carter roamed the White House and complained that the U.S. Presidency was “too big of a job for one man to handle.”

Once again, do we ever threaten to bomb either the Israelis or the Palestinians into submission? No. For one thing, there are enough Jews in America to keep the government from bombing the Israelis. Similarly, there are a number of reasons why we don’t bomb the Palestinians into submission: there are too many anti-Semites in the U.S.; we are too devoted to protecting Islam, so that Muslim countries do not shut off the flow of oil; and too many of those “petrodollars” have found their way into American politics. Anyone who doubts that the latter is a factor should think back to “Abscam.” It is simply too easy to influence American leaders with campaign contributions. Of course, the Clinton presidency—and the Dole candidacy—are clear evidence that nobody cares all that much when American politicians are bought by foreign dollars.

Clinton’s Balkans Policy Was a War Against Christianity

I recently attended a Christian writers’ conference, as much of my work is potentially salable in that area. I knew that the “where-do-you-go-to-church” type of question would come up. Having had considerable exposure to both the Evangelical and Roman Catholic worlds prior to marrying a Serbian-American and converting to Orthodoxy, I thought that I knew the Christian world fairly well. So, I expected that I would need to explain what the Eastern Orthodox Church was. While little else has changed in Evangelical Protestant circles, it seems that they now know that Orthodox Christianity exists.

It may have helped that a new Orthodox church building had been built across the railroad tracks from the Wheaton College Campus, where the conference was being held. Whatever the reason, but it was fairly refreshing so be recognized as an Orthodox without confusion. When the subject came up, I merely reached for the Orthodox cross around my neck and said “Orthodox.” No one mistakenly added the word “Greek;” as it had once been commonly assumed, throughout most of the U.S., that only Greeks could be Orthodox. They treated me like everyone else; one woman even commented, “That is the original Christianity.”

So, it appears that Evangelical Christians tend to know more about Orthodox Christians than typically did only a few years ago. While the American news media can confuse anything, those who follow world events tend to have a good idea what religions are practiced by various groups of people. This is especially true for those in government.

Reflecting back on the events of the Clinton presidency, it should be obvious exactly where he and Hillary have always stood on the issue of Christianity. In addition to Bill’s womanizing and Hillary’s efforts to make herself appear palatable to gay and lesbian voters, their record on Christianity is clear. Hilary’s defense has always been that she and Bill have been plagued by a “vast-right wing conspiracy.” It does not take too much deep thinking to translate “vast right-wing conspiracy” as a code word for the so-called “Christian Right.” While it is obvious that the Clintons are at war with the Christian Right, perhaps they are also at war with any Christian who is not pro-Clinton. So, with the exception of pro-adultery Christians and pro-homosexual Christians, the Clintons have no use for Christianity.

Orthodox Christians must pose a particular problem for the Clintons. There is no chance that Orthodox Christianity will alter its tenets to fit the leftist agenda sponsored by the Clintons.

So, what is the most politically expedient way for the Clintons to display the deepest possible contempt for Christianity? Had they gone any further to support anti-Christian policies in America, the so-called “Christian Right” would have had tremendous ammunition for opposing the Clintons and for raising money for Republican candidates. Elderly hypocrites who had been willing sacrifice all other principles to support Clinton because he would protect their Social Security payments—something they were in no danger of losing—would no longer be able to do so. There is a final type of retirement where Social Security, pensions, and other earthly assets are not needed.

But singling out and targeting one fairly small group of Orthodox Christians—including many who were more or less estranged from the faith as a result of Communist occupation—would be easy. There would be no major backlash at home; American Christians have no concept of the foundations of their faith. They have no understanding of persecution.

Martyrs often are persecuted for both religious and political reasons. Joan of Arc has been a popular topic for films in recent years. The Catholic Church executed her during the Middle Ages. In the early 20th century, the same Catholic Church decided to consider her a saint, as well as a martyr.

The Orthodox Church recently recognized two martyred saints who were murdered after Kosovo had been turned over to the KFOR occupation forces. KFOR has given the KLA free rein to persecute the Serbs who had been left behind. Without Clinton, there would have been two fewer saints, and, at least, two more living Serbian Orthodox priests in Kosovo. Of course, many other Serbs, Shiptars, and people of many other nationalities lost their lives due to Clinton’s actions.

While we are micro-inspecting George W. Bush’s reasons for invading Iraq, we seem to ignore the fact that Clinton’s reasons for the Kosovo War and ongoing occupation were, and are, completely bogus. During more than four years of occupation, we still do not have a shred of evidence that any Serbs did anything wrong to any of the Shiptars. Yet, there is no groundswell of opinion in American demanding an investigation, nor the withdrawal of our troops from the Balkans.

Clinton was able to condemn the Serbs—a Christian people—and virtually no one has come to their defense. He was able to use American resources to create an establishment of religion in Kosovo, namely Islam. Likewise, he has used American resources to prohibit the free exercise of religion in much of Kosovo, namely Christianity.

Clearly, the war in Kosovo was, and still is, a war against Christianity. Yet, no major Christian organization other than the Orthodox has taken a stand against the Kosovo War and the continued occupation of Kosovo, a province of Serbia, by KLA and KFOR forces.

Therefore, I must ask again: Are there any Christians in America?

Siegfried
Monday, October 11th, 2004, 08:42 PM
I'm waiting for Milesian to call for another Inquisition ;)