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Friday, October 9, 2009

Bourgeoise & Obama

WHAT DO ROY & PRESIDENT OBAMA have in common? Well, for one, our POTUS winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has deprived our renegade Maryknoller of that honor for yet another year. Although, knowing Roy, I doubt he'll begrudge BHO the distinction. For many years now at those insufferable "brainstorming" sessions about branding the name Marknoll and getting some good press, having Roy nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize seemed a good and attainable idea for his work to close the School of the Americas (SOA).

All that is required to be nominated is three previous winners putting a name forward, so Roy seems like a shoe-in. Rigoberta Menchu (1992) knows Maryknoll in Guatemala and even stayed at our 39th Street House; Wangari Mathai (2004) is from Tanzania and a personal friend of many Maryknollers; Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar) knows Burmese monks, all of whom were taught English by Br. John Beeching; Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica, certainly saw firsthand the havoc wrought on Central America by the SOA; Bishop Desmond Tutu (1984) once said, "Maryknoll?! You are troublemakers! Thank God!" and the late Kim Dae Jung who stayed at the Seoul House but, now, being dead, can't really nominate anymore.

That being said, for all Roy's tireless efforts, his Peace Prize time may have past. His recent involvement in women's ordination may have complicated the issue, unless the Nobel Committee wants to stick it to the Vatican like they stuck it to the Bush Administration by giving it to Obama.

In local news, at yesterday's national assembly of Maryknoll Promoters one Gift Planner (Planned Giver?) asked Fr. Dougherty about Roy's status in Maryknoll. It seems more than one benefactor was off-put by Roy's involvement in the women's ordination movement. Doc stated how, despite being excommunicated, Roy remains a Maryknoller and there is no overt pressure from Rome to act further. Doc went on to talk about how prophets are pains in the butt by definition (my words, not his) but Maryknoll also gained fans, if not supporters, by Roy's actions. It is a price we have to pay if we are to believe our 2002 Chapter documents that encourage Maryknoll to maintain a prophetic stance.

And FYI, since the election for president predated this blog, let me tell my loyal readers that last November here at the polling place in Maryknoll, Obama got 103 votes and McCain 21. Bear in mind that several outsiders (some former MKers) keep their voting registration here as do some men at St. T's. Of course, the dining room game after that was trying to figure out who those 21 votes were. I think I got 15.

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