We who were young back in the sixties were more than just inspired by Fr. Berrigan. We were challenged to get off our duffs and do more than just debate politics in our dorm rooms. He made us feel the need to end the war because people were dying and only we could stop that from happening. He challenged us with his courage and steadfastness to speak truth to power. We knew the price he was paying.
It wasn't just that he was morally right and a spiritual leader. He showed us how to have the courage to resist, to think for ourselves, to wage peace not war using nonviolence. He reminded many, like myself, that Jesus came bringing good news of social justice for the poor. Blessed are the peacemakers because they have courage.
Jesus the revolutionary was killed by empire. Fr. Dan will be remembered for restoring faith to many when it had been replaced by a rejection of blind obedience. Have faith in the truth not in obedience to power, he might have said. It was what we heard anyway. We needed to hear something like that from a priest, because other priests like Cardinal Spellman told us otherwise and supported the war. The Berrigans allowed us a path to faith outside of accepting the war, the war makers and the lust for money and power. We looked again at Jesus the revolutionary which we had never been taught to do before.
Fr. Berrigan the radical priest. His congregation was the sixties. Fr. Dan was the priest of the sixties.
A very beautiful and inspiring article Fr. Dear. The spirit of the sixties was in it.