In an era of conspiracy theorists, the unmasked, and other versions of the “flat Earth Society,” it is refreshing to encounter people who risk jobs, security, and misunderstanding in speaking truth. I find this happening more often in a time of multiple national crises.
Dr. Fauci has been “the True North” in speaking truth to power throughout the COVID -19 pandemic. His life and the lives of his three daughters have been threatened, yet he takes risks on our behalf because of his commitment to truth and the common good.
Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington, KY, is a man I hold in high esteem. He has rattled cages more than once in this conservative diocese. I met him in Washington in 2018 when I joined 40 sisters, priests, and lay leaders to do civil disobedience on behalf of dreamers facing deportation. He was there to preside at our liturgy, preach a stellar homily and bless us before we were arrested. His message then and now was to preach the gospel wherever it may lead you.
He is not a “careerist” and will never climb a ladder. Instead, he will join a circle. His circle includes “the least of these” – immigrants, poor and marginalized, those working for nonviolent solutions to problems. This gentle follower of St. Francis is not afraid to take on anyone.
He participated in a recent webinar in which he clearly defined “pro-life” as a to z, not stopping at a. His criticism of the president and his administration leaves no one doubting his concern about an anti-life administration. He maintains that one “cannot be pro-life if you support separating children from their parents and put them in cages …cannot be pro-life if you deny them affordable health care, even with pre-existing illnesses.” Pro-life also means supporting basic, responsible, common-sense gun laws that include universal background checks, banning of assault weapons, and saving many thousands of lives by simple actions. Pro-life is a “seamless garment” being shredded by an anti-life president.
To read the entire text of Bishop Stowe’s address, click here.
I am confident Bishop Stowe is getting hate mail and calls for his removal, as well as unfriendly twitter comments.
While it is important to engage in peaceful protests and criticize those in power who are destructive in their words and decisions, it is also important to affirm those who take risks on our behalf in the pursuit of truth. Bishop John Stowe deserves our thanks.
You may write to him at: Diocese of Lexington, 1310 West Main St., Lexington, KY 40508 or go to the Diocese of Lexington website.