Gospel Non-Violence Working Group Report

The AUSCP Gospel Nonviolent Working Group, submitting the following 2020 report, will continue in process in 2021 and until the Parousia when violent conflict will be laid to rest. In the meantime, since the 2019 Assembly we three active members, Harry Bury, Bob Cushing and Bernie Survil, have with other AUSCP members

  1. Canvassed the Chicago Archdiocese with the invaluable help of AUSCP members Ken Fleck, Len Dubi and Michael Ahlstrom to build support for initiating the beatification of Ben Salmon, and then getting over 100 to preview A HIDDEN LIFE, the story of Blessed Franz Jaegerstatter, Austrian Catholic resister to an unjust war. This took place in Downtown Chicago on December 11, 2019.
  2. AUSCP members Bob Cushing and Bernie Survil attended the Evidentiary hearing for The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 nuclear resisters and then their trial in September, 2019 in Brunswick, GA, coincidently the scene of the recent murder of a young black jogger.
  3. Since December, 2019 to the present, initiated a conversation with the over 90 AUSCP members who either list Gospel nonviolence as an issue for them, or who had endorsed the above-mentioned petition to Cardinal Cupich regarding Ben Salmon. Two Zoom conferences have been attended by up to 33 AUSCP members and FRIENDS.

AUSCP members Simon Carian and John Haegle took upon themselves the task to draw up concrete ways the Working Group can move forward with recommendations to the AUSCP Leadership Team. AUSCP member Neil Pezzulo’s experience as a member of The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), Justice & Peace Committee, was part of the discerning as well as comments from DOZENS of AUSCP members. The final document tilted “ARTISANS OF PEACE” has been entrusted to the AUSCP Leadership Team. A minority report To Artisans of Peace from some GNV Working Group members will be available for those requesting it after the 2020 Assembly. It will be structured around the experiences of the Church in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 2nd half of the 20th century and around the witness of Americans Military Chaplains Fr. George Zabelka (World War II) and Fr. Paul Dorbal (Iraq War and Occupation), as well as the peace witness of Fr. Harry Bury (Vietnam War to the Present).

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