Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Antiwar Priest Daniel Berrigan Remembered


"One of the Great Revolutionaries": Daniel Berrigan Remembered as Hundreds Gather for Funeral
Democracy Now
by Amy Goodman
May 9, 2016


Left: Father Berrigan, right and his brother Philip Berrigan seized hundreds of draft records and set them on fire with homemade napalm in 1968.

More than 800 people packed into the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York Friday for the funeral of Daniel Berrigan, the legendary antiwar priest, poet and activist. He died on April 30 at the age of 94. Today would have been his 95th birthday. Dan and his brother, the late Phil Berrigan, made international headlines in 1968 when they and seven other Catholic antiwar activists burned draft cards in Catonsville, Maryland, to protest the Vietnam War. Prior to the funeral, hundreds took part in a two-hour procession beginning at Mary House, a Catholic Worker house in the East Village. Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke was there and spoke to participants including singer Dar Williams, the Rev. John Dear, Dan’s niece Frida Berrigan, Kathy Kelly and John Schuchardt, who was arrested with Dan in 1980 when they broke into the GE nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, launching the Plowshares Movement. Read more

Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan gave an anti-war sermon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, 1972. William Sauro/NYT

Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94
The New York Times
By DANIEL LEWIS
April 30, 2016


The Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and poet whose defiant protests helped shape the tactics of opposition to the Vietnam War and landed him in prison, died on Saturday in the Bronx. He was 94.

His death, at Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University, was confirmed by the Rev. James Martin, editor at large at America magazine, a national Catholic magazine published by the Jesuits.

The United States was tearing itself apart over civil rights and the war in Southeast Asia when Father Berrigan emerged in the 1960s as an intellectual star of the Roman Catholic "new left," articulating a view that racism and poverty, militarism and capitalist greed were interconnected pieces of the same big problem: an unjust society.

It was an essentially religious position, based on a stringent reading of the Scriptures that some called pure and others radical. But it would have explosive political consequences as Father Berrigan; his brother Philip, a Josephite priest; and their allies took their case to the streets with rising disregard for the law or their personal fortunes.

A defining point was the burning of Selective Service draft records in Catonsville, Md., and the subsequent trial of the so-called Catonsville Nine, a sequence of events that inspired an escalation of protests across the country; there were marches, sit-ins, the public burning of draft cards and other acts of civil disobedience. Read more

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