Bishop speech cancellation a loss

By Anne Marie Abowd
Toledo Blade
July 21, 2019

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton has spoken in Toledo many times, at various venues in the past. Most notably during the U.S. attack on Iraq when he appealed for an end to the catastrophe responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million civilians and 5,000 Americans. It has been a war that has created turmoil that lingers in Iraq to this day and has inflamed ongoing chaos throughout the Middle East ever since.

I accompanied Bishop Gumbleton to Central Catholic High School School, where he spoke to students about immorality of that war.

Bishop Gumbleton has spoken several times at Corpus Christi University Parish pleading for an end to sanctions that were starving thousands of Iraqi children, many of whom he had witnessed on several trips to war-torn Iraq.

He has consistently advocated for social justice; for inclusiveness in the church, and for the protection of children, as Jesus preached.

For years he made regular trips to Haiti to help bring medical aid to the poor. In Detroit’s inner city, he instituted a free medical and dental clinic for the destitute. At St. Leo’s, his Detroit parish, he turned the rectory into classrooms where addicted mothers could be counseled with a day care for their children.

Ironically, he was black-listed by the Church as a punishment for his heroic opposition to the Statute of Limitations for pedophile priests.

Recently his scheduled appearance at Lourdes University, to be guest speaker at the Rahner Lecture honoring the Rev. James Bacik was canceled just days before the event.

What a loss that we were not able to hear his plea for peace, for sanity, especially in the present climate of nuclear threat.

We implore Bishop Gumbleton to return to speak, if need be, in a non-Catholic institution.

His rare and courageous voice for peace and justice must not be silenced.


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