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Peace and Reason Amid Chaos

News from The New York Times:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA. "Thou shalt steal," said Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis in a passionate homily at Sacred Heart Cathedral, mocking the evil done by the men who led this nation through so many years of suffering, who destroyed a generation, who dared reverse the Ten Commandments.

"Thou shalt lie," and the congregation began to chuckle at the depth of human folly. "Thou shalt rape," and the faithful laughed through tears. "Thou shalt kill."

Nothing -- not constant threats of death, not the massacre of five nuns in his flock, not the sacking of his secretariat or the bombing of his radio station -- silences The Arch, as he is known here. It is said that Charles G. Taylor, the warlord president who left Liberia last month after six years of misrule, was afraid of only one man on earth.

"The Arch was the only man in Liberia who would stand up to Charles Taylor, look him in the eye and back him down." said Bismarck Myrick, former United States ambassador to Liberia.

Yet through all this the archbishop, now 67, has maintained a sense of calm, as has his congregation. As the Arch put it, "There cannot be peace without justice. They have to answer to God and to man, for this was about greed and power."



by tree#138680 on Wed Sep 17 03 12:30 am | profile

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