Prophets Without Honor


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Prophets Without Honor



"A book to inspire us all, because it looks beyond the false gods of  our

time,  the ruthless political leaders, the timid intellectuals, the stars of

People magazine and tells the story of the bravest people in America ."

                                 - Howard Zinn



By William Strabala and FedCURE member Mike Palecek The book tells the story of a group of American men who happen to be priests who happen to have served decades in American prisons.


 Darrell Rupiper, Larry Rosebaugh and Carl Kabat are Oblate missionary priests.  Frank Cordaro is a diocesan priest from Des Moines . Roy Bourgeois is a Maryknoll priest.  Charlie Liteky is an ex-Trinitarian priest.


 Rupiper was in the national spotlight during the Iran hostage crisis.  He traveled to Iran as part of team of clerics hoping to gain the release of the hostages.


 Rosebaugh now lives with the poor in El Salvador . He was a member of the Milwaukee 14,  a group that burned draft records in accord with the example set by the Berrigan brothers  at Catonsville , Maryland in 1968.


 Kabat has served over 16 years in United States federal and state prisons since 1980 as a result of his anti-military actions.


 Cordaro has served half a dozen federal prison terms for his anti-nuclear activities.  He has also given sanctuary to a manure spreader in support of Iowa farmers. During the Carter presidency Cordaro found himself on the front page of the Washington Post after he  stood in front of Carter during a press conference to tell the world the truth about the SALT treaty.


 Bourgeois, from the deep south and a former military officer who served in Vietnam , recently  made his own front-page news [NY Times, Washington Post, others] as leader of the massive  protests at Fort Benning , Georgia calling for the closing of the School of the Americas .  Bourgeois and Rosebaugh also served prison terms in the 1980s when they sneaked into Fort Benning , climbed a tree and played a tape outside the Salvadoran soldiers' barracks  of the last sermon given by slain archbishop Oscar Romero.


 Liteky is a former chaplain who served in Vietnam . He received the Congressional Medal of Honor, and later surrendered it during his protests at Fort Benning .


 With the exception of Cordaro, all of these men began their clerical careers as missionaries, in Brazil , the Philippines , Bolivia and Vietnam , and discovered America in the process.  They discovered that the trail of the poor leads through such countries directly back to America . It leads directly to Rupiper's home in Carroll , Iowa ; to Rosebaugh and Kabat's roots in rural Illinois ; to Cordaro's Des Moines Italian household, and to the nation's capital, where Liteky was born. They also discovered that the America they grew up in never existed.


 They read history and learned about America 's militarism, its attempts at global hegemony,  and they felt they must resist. They wanted with all their hearts for their childhood America to be made real, a just and loving America , even if that meant they must spend years behind prison walls.


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