After a few years absence, on March 14 the Archdiocese of Omaha returned to the Strategic Air & Space (SAC) Museum (http://www.sasmuseum.com/) as the site of their annual Catholic
Charities Fund Raising event (http://www.ccomaha.org/). It was a scandal in 1999 when the Archdiocese of Omaha started hosting its Catholic Charities fund raiser at the SAC Museum. It is no less a scandal this year as they returned to this unholy site. As we did in the past, the DMCW organized a vigil of shame at the museum during the Catholic Charities Fund Raising event.
Mona Shaw. Ed Bloomer, Tracy Robson and Frank Cordaro of DMCW arrived at the SAC Museum in Ashland, Nebraska about 25 miles West of Omaha an hour early of the 5 p.m. start of our planned vigil. We were able to tour the museum, see the museum displays and the lay out of the Catholic Charities Fund Raising banquet.
At 5 p.m. the four DMCW meet up with five friends and supporters from Omaha to register our protest to this scandalous betrayal of our Faith. With a prepared flyer to hand out (see flyer text below and attached doc) and three banners to display, we started our vigil at the main entrance of the museum. Our three banners read: “Catholic Charities Pimps the Poor and Blesses War!”, “Hiroshima & Nagasaki – Unpunished U.S. War Crimes” and “A-Bombing of Hiroshima Japan, August 6, 1945 ‘A butchery of untold magnitude’ Pope Paul VI”
Almost as soon as we set up our vigil, SAC Museum security people came out of the museum to order us off their property. We were escorted down the long entrance drive way, off museum property onto the right away between the highway and the main entrance drive. We set up our
banners along the road next to the main entrance drive. We attempted to hand out our flyers as the banquet quest arrive. No more than 10 cars stopped to receive our flyers of couple hundred cars that passed by us on their way to the banquet.
It is our fervent hope and prayer that the Archdiocese of Omaha see the moral error of their ways and not return to the SAC Museum for their annual Catholic Charities Fund Raising venue. We encourage as many people who can to contact Kathy Grandsaert of Omaha Catholic
Charities and the Omaha Archbishop (see contact info below) and let them know how inappropriate this event really was and beg them not to return next year.
Kathy Fitzgerald Grandsaert, Senior Director for Development
Catholic Charities, 3300 N 60th Street, Omaha NE 68104
email@example.com (402) 829-9261
and / or
Catholic Archbishop of Omaha
100 N 62nd Street, Omaha, NE 68132
firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 558-3100
God help our Church…..
Phil Berrigan CW House
713 Indiana Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 282-4781 www.DesMoinesCatholicWorker.org
Text of flyer:
Catholic Charities Pimps the Poor and Blesses War!
“The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race, and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured.” Bishops, Vatican II Gaudium et Spes, (81 & 3),
It is a moral outrage to raise money for the poor while feasting at the temple of the death machine that keeps them poor. The billions spent on the weapons of mass destruction enshrined at the SAC Museum would easily shelter and feed not only the poor in this nation but around the world. By hosting their annual Catholic Charities Fund Raiser at the Sac Museum, the Omaha Catholic Archdiocese mocks and exploits the poor we are called to serve and instead blesses the very arms race (as well as the hideous weapons worshipped here) the
Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned. This museum exists because the worship of war continues, and because it is still our national intention to use these weapons again
The pennies thrown by Catholic Charities at poverty tonight will do little to alleviate the suffering of even a few. By hosting this event here at Sac, the poor are being used or “pimped” to glorify and perpetuate the war machine that keeps them poor.
People of conscience will not let this obscenity go unnoticed! For love of our Church and in the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus, we call on the Archdiocese of Omaha to repent of this scandalous show of idolatry and to pledge to never return to the SAC Museum for a Church-sponsored event—except to close down this temple of death.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953