Report (11/20/2005): Synopsis of the 2005 "National Week of Prayer and Vigils"
From the very first weeks following the election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy, we have watched in amazement as the Vatican:
- forced the resignation of Fr. Tom Reese, S.J., the editor of the progressive Jesuit Catholic Weekly, AMERICA;
- announced that there would be no investigation into the charges of abuse by Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, (founder of the religious order the Legionaries of Christ);
- attempted to destabilize the Spanish government in order to prevent the enactment of same gender marriage;
A Call to Action
Last November, Soulforce called for a National Day of Prayer and Vigils to demand an end to the the Church’s role of promoting injustice and inequality. Several hundred people in a dozen cities participated. From San Francisco to New York, Atlanta to St. Paul, and cities in between, people responded to the call. For pictures and reports of these vigils click here.
This year, buoyed by the success of last year’s campaign and the feedback from our local Soulforce groups, we’ve expanded to a National Week of Prayer and Vigils to take place November 7 – 12, 2005 (the week prior to the USCCB meeting in Washington, D.C.)
By expanding to a week, groups participating in the National Week of Prayer and Vigils can sponsor different events. Event ideas include nonviolence training programs, movie nights to view and discuss films such as Romero, educational forums to help people understand the issues of concern, letter writing parties to their bishops and local newspapers, as well as the actual vigils. Soulforce will provide some specific suggestions for activities as well as sample letters when writing to both bishops and newspaper editors. This is an excellent opportunity to send a strong message to the bishops on the local level as they are preparing for the USCCB meeting in D.C.
Join us in this National Week of Prayer and Vigils. Ask organizations you are involved with to endorse and take part in this nationwide effort to return the church to its justice foundations.
For more information contact email@example.com
For more on Soulforce’s monitoring of the Catholic church concerning GLBT issues, go to the Soulforce Catholic page.
Update (10-31-2005): GLBT Interfaith Leaders Take on Historic Collaboration During Global Week of Prayer
Update (10-27-2005): If you are planning a Movie & Discussion Night for our National Week of Prayer & Vigils, here are some highly recommended movies that deal with issues of social justice and change. Any of these will provoke some excellent discussion.
A movie on the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
- Entertaining Angels
The story of Dorothy Day
- A Force More Powerful
An excellent video on nonviolence that is often available at the public library
- Eyes on the Prize
A series on the Civil Rights Movement that is also often available at the public library
- In Good Conscience
The story of Sr. Jeannine Gramick, the nun who the Vatican unsuccessfully tried to silence (available from Out of the Blue Films)
Also consider sending a letter to the local bishop in your area. A suggested letter is now available.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6 (New International Version)