Our family joined a group of some 50 Catholic Workers (and others) today on a damp, cold, two and a half hour Good Friday “Way of the Cross” walk through downtown Clevleland. The Stations of the Cross were matched against modern day issues, using significant downtown buildings as back drops. For instance, in front of the Justice Building a one act play was staged showing Jesus not defending Himself against Pilate. This was then correlated to how the poor often have little defense in the legal system… Of the Station about ‘Jesus meeting the women’ on the road to His crucifixion, the speaker said there were millions of displaced women ( and children) in the country of Columbia. On a recent trip to Columbia, she said she learned Civil War there claims thousands of lives every year, wtih, for instance, husbands being killed, farm animals being slaughtered, and women and children being displaced “…because someone (with more power) wanted the land”… Another speaker noted the gospel does not intend for us to look the other way when it comes to this type of atrocity. Rather, the gospel is intended to unsettle us, to touch the “real sin of society.” That is, the grave sin of omission if we do choose to look the other way while violence racks Columbia (the Sudan, the Congo…) Then there is the “sin of selfishness,” as most Americans live quite comfortably, while many in the Third World live on one meager meal a day (or are starving to death altogether). What’s more, there is the “sin” of gluttony as our use of fossil fuels in America (excessive driving, heating, air-conditioning…) creates tremendous environmental devastation, read: acid rain, global warming, vanishing species… As an end to the walk today, in front of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Cleveland’s Public Square, pictures of Iraquis killed in the current war were placed on the steps in front of the statues of American soldiers and sailors. It was a “monument” to the countless others in this war — that we never hear about in the (American) media, said Chris Knestrick. These deaths were correlated to the Station about Jesus dying and being taken from the cross… I have to say this was, by far, the most moving (and relevant) “Way of the Cross” I’ve ever attended.