New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 26, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
BA New Braunfels Heral&Zeitung Friday, July 26,1985Priest fasting, praying for peace in Nicaragua
By GEORGE W. CORNELL AP religion writer
The room is furnished with a cot, a cane rocker, some, straight chairs, a desk and a priedieu for kneeling in prayer with a Bible opened on the upper stand. A candle flickers on the desk beside some flowers and an icon of the Virgin Mary.
On the plywood walls hang a crucifix and posters of the assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and El Salvador’s slain Bishop Oscar Romero.
That is the scene, as described by visitors,
in a cinder-block building adjoining a plain, grayish Roman Catholic church in Managua, Nicaragua, where the foreign minister, a priest, is in his third week of a fast for peace and an end to U.S. action against his country.
“I love to eat, so I decided on a fast because ifs hard for me,” the Rev. Miguel d’Escoto told one U.S. group.
Saying he had been led as a priest to “accept Christ’s call” for the fast, d'Escoto said he is praying that Christians elsewhere join in non-violent efforts to stop U.S. moves against Nicaragua.
The Reagan administration has accused
Nicaragua of trying to spread its leftist revolution to other Central American countries, and the United States has provided aid to Nicaraguan guerrilla fighters opposing the government.
In a project being coordinated across the country through 600 chapters of Interreligious Task Force on Central America, based in New York, many Americans this weekend are praying and fasting for peace in the region.
A spokesman said plans are being made for such fasting to continue on a state-by-state basis for 50 days.
The American-born d’Escoto, now 52, has taken only water, with a bit of lemon juice and mineral tablets since July 7, when he took a leave from his government post, visitors say.
“His commitment and faith are very stron^,” says Asia A. Bennett of Philadelphia, executive secretary of the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) one of nine U.S. Protestant and Catholic representatives who visited him last week.
Amid rumors in Managua that his strength was slipping, his doctor examined him
Monday and said his condition was “clinically satisfactory” but that he had lost 20 pounds. A heavyset man, he was down to about 180.
His daily round includes taking''part in morning prayer services and an evening Mass of Holy Communion at the church, reading, writing, private prayer and meditation, and occasional quiet conversations with visitors.
He says he intends to fast until it ignites among Christians and others of good will a Gospel-based “evangelical insurrection” to change U.S. anti-Nicaragua policies.
Church Women United has taken the symbol of a ribbon for peace and have adapted it to take their message to Washington, D.C.
Members throughout the country have been sewing hundreds of panels which will be stitched together to form a huge ribbon. The ribbon will be draped around the Pentagon on the 40th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Each of the panels in the ribbon depicts things that the women could not bear to lose in a nuclear holocaust. The completed ribbon is expected to be IO miles long.
The New Braunfels chapter did not made panels but has chosen to give its support by asking local churches to ring their bells at 2 p.m. on Aug. 4.
Member churches in New Braunfels are Faith United Church of Christ, First Protestant United Church of Christ, First United Methodist, New Braunfels Presbyterian and St. Paul Lutheran.
After the Aug. 4 demonstration, it is expected that sections of teh ribbon will go into the permanent collection of the Peace Musuem in Chicago while others will be housed in the Smithsonian Institute.
Chinese Christians studying America
NEW YORK (AP) - Five Christian students from Nanking, China, are spending two months touring the United States to get acquainted with America’s diverse religious life.
They are the first student delegation sent by the China Christian Council. They are studying for the ministry at Nanking Seminary. Two are the only Christians in their families. One was converted in 1981 by Bible reading.
The Rev. Franklin J. Woo, China program director of the National Council of Churches which is sponsoring the tour, says:
"It is hoped that the bond established between these future leaders of the church in China and Christians in the United States can be a firm foundation for a long-term relationship of mutuality.”
Women's group ready to leave Catholic Church
WASHINGTON (AP)- A confidential report to the Vatican by the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations says many women leave the church because it is insensitive to their desire to "participate fully.”
The 1982 report, obtained and recently made public by National Catholic News Service, criticizes the scarcity of women in decisionmaking positions, refusal to permit girls to serve at the altar and to admit women as deacons.
The international women’s body said it is “ deeply compered with the fact that the church is losing a considerable number of women and will continue to do so unless more sensitivity is shown toward women’s concerns and aspirations to participate fully in the life and mission of the church.”
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