Feast of Pedro Casaldaliga (February 16)   1 comment

äAbove:  The Flag of Brazil

Image in the Public Domain

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PERE CASALDÀLIGA I PLA (FEBRUARY 16, 1928-AUGUST 8, 2020)

Roman Catholic Bishop of São Félix, Brazil

“Bishop to then Poor”

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If in doubt, side with the poor.

–One of Bishop Casaldàliga’s favorite sayings

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Bishop Pedro Casaldàliga comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via Father João Bosco Burnier (1917-1976), one of his priests, and a martyr.

Our saint was a Catalan.  He, born in Balsareny, Catalonia, Spain, on February 16, 1928, grew up on the family’s cattle ranch.  He, ordained a priest in Barcelona on May 31, 1952, was also a Claretian.

The order sent Casaldàliga to Brazil in 1968.  There he remained, except for travels out of the country.  Our saint, appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Territorial Prefecture of São Félix on April 27, 1970, became its bishop on August 27, 1971.  He served in this capacity until retiring on February 2, 2005.  Casaldàliga made powerful enemies.

  1. He opposed the Brazilian military dictatorship, which committed violations of human rights of civilians.  That government censored him.
  2. He confronted large agricultural corporations for cooperating with the military dictatorship and operating a modern form of the slaver trade.
  3. He advocated for the rights of the poor and indigenous people.  This advocacy incurred the wrath of logging corporations, mining corporations, agricultural corporations, and land-grabbers.  Casaldàliga received death threats and the attention of more than one hitman, even after he retired.
  4. In 1972, he founded the Conselho Indigenista Missionário within the Brazilian Roman Catholic Church, to support the rights of indigenous peoples.
  5. He favored liberation theology.  This position placed Casaldàliga on the bad side of Pope John Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).  The bishop defied Rome when he refused to sign a prepared statement acknowledging his alleged errors.
  6. He criticized the Roman Catholic Church from within for, among other errors, marginalizing women, opposing liberation theology, and being overly centralized.
  7. He made other churchmen look bad by voluntarily living in poverty, in community.

Casaldàliga, in retirement, served as a priest.  He also had a favorable relationship with Pope Francis.  The bishop, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, died in Batatais, São Paolo, on August 8, 2020.  He was 92 years old.

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Lord Christ, who pronounced the poor to be blessed heirs of the Kingdom of God,

thank you for the faithful life and legacy of your servant, Bishop Pedro Casaldàliga,

who lived the Gospel in his advocacy on behalf of the poor and indigenous peoples.

May the spirit of courageous defense of the marginalized and oppressed ever be strong within your Church.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 24:10-15

Psalm 10

Revelation 18:9-24

Luke 6:20-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF GUSTAF AULEN AND HIS PROTÉGÉ AND COLLEAGUE, ANDERS NYGREN, SWEDISH LUTHERAN BISHOPS AND THEOLOGIANS

THE FEAST OF JANE MONTGOMERY CAMPBELL, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHANN GOTTLOB KLEMM, INSTRUMENT MAKER; DAVID TANNENBERG, SR., GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN ORGAN BUILDER; JOHANN PHILIP BACHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN INSTRUMENT MAKER; JOSEPH FERDINAND BULITSCHEK, BOHEMIAN-AMERICAN ORGAN BUILDER; AND TOBIAS FRIEDRICH, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES KEPLER, GERMAN LUTHERAN ASTRONOMER AND MATHEMATICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, RESTORER OF THE JESUITS

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One response to “Feast of Pedro Casaldaliga (February 16)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Joao Bosco Burnier (October 12) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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