1999-06-11 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey


A Eucharistic Congress: A Celebration of Togetherness

On Sunday, June 6, 1999, the Eucharistic Congress allowed everyone to come together to celebrate our religious faiths and the rich cultural heritage and diversity of our community.

Workshops were conducted on a variety of topics. Rabbi Marc
Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman spoke at a workshop on the Eucharist and Salvation History. They discussed the different types of salvation history and their relationship to our present day worship.

I was a panelist at a workshop on the Eucharist in Politics, chaired by
Mary Dever, the chairperson of the Rockaway Action Education Committee and the NAACP Arverne Chapter Education Committee. Mary is an outstanding leader with demonstrated competence and effectiveness. Other members of the panel included Monsignor Howard Basler from the Diocesan Public Network who is a columnist in the Tablet and in the Rockaway Point News. He is an outstanding spokesperson for labor. In his remarks, he reviewed the book
entitled "Torture and the Eucharist" and raised thoughtful and provocative
ideas concerning current political trends. Madeline Anderson from the
Office of Black Ministry has been a professor at Howard University. She
emphasized the needs of Afro-American in our political system. Monsignor Phillip Rielly concentrated on the need for moral and ethical leadership in the political arena.

In my presentation I emphasized the fact that politics is a natural
extension of religion. It reaches out to others to do good. According to
the thesaurus, politics is statesmanlike, resourceful, thoughtful, considerate and discerning.

Political science is one of the oldest fields of knowledge because it concentrates on the ordering of affairs of men and women. Plato and Aristotle were among the earliest political scientists and jointly illustrate one of the classic predicaments or blessings of the discipline, that is - its linking of a factual description of the political world as it is with philosophical speculation and preaching about what the world ought to be combined with a practical and realistic assessment of what people need now. Aristotle and Plato dealt with the fundamental and enduring problems of politics - the nature of the state, the legitimacy of rulers, the political obligation of the ruled and the nature of representation.

As Bertand Russell stated "without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value."




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