Archive for the ‘Pedro Casaldaliga’ Tag

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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Feast of Joao Bosco Burnier (October 12)   1 comment

Above:  Map of the Germane Region of Brazil

Scanned and Cropped by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

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JOÃO BOSCO PENIDO BURNIER (JUNE 12, 1917-OCTOBER 12, 1976)

Brazilian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1976

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The history of salvation is nothing more than the accumulation of the responses of individual men and women to the call of their baptism.

–João Bosco Burnier, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 443

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João Bosco Burnier comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints (1997).

Burnier led a life defined by love of Jesus and his fellow human beings, especially “the least of these.”  He, born in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on June 12, 1917, was the fifth of nine children.  Our saint, who joined the Society of Jesus at age 19, graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.  He, ordained in Rome in 1946, wanted to be a missionary in Brazil.  First, though, he had other assignments.  Burnier was the Jesuit Assistant for Latin America (-1954).  Then our saint was the Jesuit Vice Provincial for the province that spanned the states of Goias, Minas Gerais, and Espiritu Santo (1954-1959).  Next, Burnier was a novice master and spiritual director (1959-1965).  He, as a member of the Brazilian Roman Catholic Indigenous Missionary Council (CIM), advocated for the rights of indigenous people.

Finally, in 1966, Burnier got to become a missionary.  He, based in the region of Mato Grosso, carved out of the Amazon rain forest, ministered to the Bakairi and Xavante people in the state of Minas Gerais.  Our saint understood how to succeed as a missionary in his context:

We must adapt ourselves to the culture of the Indian in order to transmit the gospel, or to discover within the life of the Indians the gospel values.

–Burnier, quoted in Ellsberg, All Saints (1997), 444

Burnier also conducted his missionary work in the context of the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

One of Burnier’s allies was his bishop.  Pedro Casaldáliga (February 16, 1928-August 8, 2020) was the Bishop of São Félix do Araguala (1971-2005).  Casaldáligo lived simply.  He defended the rights of the poor and of the indigenous peoples.  The bishop also embraced Liberation Theology and openly opposed the military dictatorship.  He was, according to enemies, a communist.  (Communism had a flexible definition, depending on who was calling someone else a communist, apparently.)

In October 1976, Father Burnier and Bishop Casaldáliga were traveling together after having attended an ecclesiastical meeting.  They were visiting towns and villages, and enjoying doing so.  On October 11, the duo arrived in the small town of Ribeirão Bonito, Mato Grosso.  While there, they learned that police were torturing two peasant women in the jail.

The priest and the bishop did what any decent Christian men would do; they went immediately to the jail and confronted the police officers.  The officers accused Father Burner and Bishop Casaldáliga of being communists.  One officer pistol-whipped the priest.  Then the officer shot the priest in the neck.  Burnier died in the neurological unit in Goiania, Goias, Brazil, the next day.  Our saint was 59 years old.

Local peasants erected a memorial to Father Burnier on the site of his shooting.  On a cross they inscribed (in Portuguese, of course):

On 11 Oct. 76 in this place of Ribeirão Bonito, Mato Grosso, was assassinated Father Joāo Bosco Burnier, for defending the liberty of the poor.  He died, like Jesus Christ, offering his life for our liberation.

–Quoted in Ellsberg, All Saints (1997), 445

Jesus said:

Take up your cross and follow me.

Jesus said:

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s brother.

Jesus also said:

When you did it for the least of these, my brethren, you did it for me.

Father Joāo Bosco Burnier laid down his life for two peasant women he never met.  He did this without hesitation.

No greater love, indeed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT TIKHON OF MOSCOW, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GEORGE THE YOUNGER, GREEK ORTHODOX BISHOP OF MITYLENE

THE FEAST OF JAY THOMAS STOCKING, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MONTFORD SCOTT, EDMUND GENNINGS, HENRY WALPOLE, AND THEIR FELLOW MARTYRS, 1591 AND 1595

THE FEAST OF RANDALL DAVIDSON, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Gracious Lord, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like your servant João Bosco Burnier]

whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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