Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit and the founder of a Catholic peace organization called Pax Christi USA.
Last July, Gumbleton gave the keynote speech at the National Assembly of Pax Christi USA. His speech featured many of the same condemnations usually found in similar speeches made by pacifists and communists. He said that the United States of America is an evil empire, that President Bush is an evil capitalist, that the United States engages in genocidal campaigns, et cetera. Gumbleton even attempted to compare our country to the Roman Empire. He alluded to ancient Rome’s Pax Romana, saying the world today is ruled by the doctrine of Pax Americana. The implication being that America is an imperialist nation.
Of course, Gumbleton does not cite the concentration camps liberated by Americans. The unctuous Bishop Gumbleton fails to mention the Russians who were saved from extermination by the Germans or the Chinese who were rescued from enslavement by the Japanese because of Americans. He does not include the Koreans saved from communist reeducation centers and killing fields because of American military intervention. The Catholic Bishop of peace does not reference the Muslims in the Balkans saved from ethnic cleansing because of America. However, Gumbleton most egregious sin is that he neglects to point out the Americans who sacrificed their lives to save people around the world by virtue of either their humanitarian, financial, technological, or military efforts.
Yet, Gumbleton has been described as “prophetic” by some of his colleagues. Prophetic? No. Jesuitical? Yes.
Misinformation, deceit, invective, and sophistry are more the hallmark of Gumbleton than clairvoyance. Gumbleton and his disciples believe that if there is injustice anywhere in the world, if there is hunger somewhere on the globe, if there pestilence, famine, war, or plague anywhere in this global village we call Earth, it is the fault of the people and the government of the United States of America.
Gumbleton (and others of his ilk) maintain a visceral, and unwarranted, hatred of the United States. His diatribes cite data of US military actions without mentioning the reason for those military activities. Gumbleton joins other clerics and laymen in issuing statements, publishing declarations, and organizing civil disobedience against our nation all in the name of God, justice, and peace.
However, as is often the case with these pharisaical pacifists their facts and figures are not correct. Their declarations are mere diatribes. Their statements state nothing except platitudes.
Examples of Gumbleton’s disinformation, deception and factual errors are legion.
In 1984, Catholic bishops who participated in writing a pastoral letter (of which Gumbleton was the principle author) about nuclear weapons testified before a House Foreign Affairs committee about nuclear weapons and defense issues. The bishops disapproved of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the MX missile. The bishops stated that the MX and the SDI would not work. How and where they obtained this knowledge of sophisticated defense technology is unknown. Why they were considered credible to judge something that experts were unable to judge is a mystery. 1
In March 1986, Gumbleton was a signer of a letter issued by Witness for Peace, a pro-Sandinista organization. The letter stated that the Sandinistas were not exterminating the Miskito Indian tribe and there was no religious persecution by the Sandinistas. However, Russell Means, certainly no conservative ideologue, and the Anti-Defamation League knew differently. Means publicly condemned the Sandinistas for their genocide of the Miskitos. The ADL complained about Sandinista anti-Semitism.
In a 1994 speech at Creighton University Gumbleton said that North Korea was part of the nuclear club. Yet, in his 2002 speech to the Pax Christi USA National Assembly he says that Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are non-nuclear nations and are parties to the non-proliferation treaty.
Gumbleton’s credibility about these issues is questionable. However, his reasoning is even more problematic.
Gumbleton is a liberation theologist (liberation theology is a philosophy that could be characterized as Communists for Christ). He has protested American foreign policy from Viet Nam, to Angola, to Central America, to SDI, to the Gulf War to the Balkans to the present.
Shortly after 911 Gumbleton was a principle organizer of a rally in Los Angeles, protesting military action in Afghanistan. Gumbleton joined with the International Action Center (an organization affiliated with a Kimist domestic terrorist organization), the National Lawyers Guild (the Stalinist created lawyers group) and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (apologists for Islamic terrorists) to convene this rally.
Gumbleton was one of the few bishops to dissent from the American Catholic Bishops’ statement endorsing the Afghan intervention.
In their 1986 book “ Betrayal of the Church,” Edmund and Julia Robb quote Gumbleton as saying, “The use of force, in self-defense or in the defense of others, is "unChristlike. . . . We must defend against evil by goodness . . . if that seems contrary to human reasoning, reasoning has to go by the boards." Gumbleton was also quoted as saying that "war is unwarranted in any circumstances."
Gumbleton and Ramsey Clark led a delegation to Iraq in May 1998 delivering food and medicine. In 2000, Gumbleton was part of a Peoples’ Tribunal “ in Chicago investigating the human rights abuses of the US allied Colombian government.
These are just a few examples of Gumbleton’s activism, which reveal his anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism. Gumbelton, for his entire career, has been consistently allying himself with and an advocate of dictators, corrupt and brutal totalitarian governments and genocidal maniacs.
For all his advocacy of peace and justice, I wonder how many lives Gumbleton as saved. No one knows for certain if he has saved any lives. He may have even contributed to some deaths. One thing is certain though, the US military has saved thousands of lives and liberated millions of people throughout the entire world with their actions.
Just as certain is that the activities of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton are vacuous and unconscionable.
1. Betrayal of the Church" Edmund and Julia Robb 1986.