DOROTHY DAY, UNION SQUARE SPEECH

(6 NOVEMBER 1965)

 

Sara Ann Mehltretter

The Pennsylvania State University

 

It is not just Vietnam, it is South Africa, it is Nigeria, the Congo, Indonesia, all of Latin America. It is not just the pictures of all the women and children who have been burnt alive in Vietnam, or the men who have been tortured, and died. It is not just the headless victims of the war in Colombia. It is not just the words of Cardinal Spellman and Archbishop Hannan. It is the fact that whether we like it or not, we are Americans. It is indeed our country, right or wrong, as the Cardinal said in another context. We are warm and fed and secure (aside from occasional muggings and murders amongst us). We are the nation the most powerful, the most armed and we are supplying arms and money to the rest of the world where we are not ourselves fighting. We are eating while there is famine in the world. Scripture tells us that the picture of judgment presented to us by Jesus is of Dives sitting and feasting with his friends while Lazarus sat hungry at the gate, the dogs, the scavengers of the East, licking his sores. We are the Dives. Woe to the rich! We are the rich. The works of mercy are the opposite of the works of war, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, nursing the sick, visiting the prisoner. But we are destroying crops, setting fire to entire villages and to the people in them. We are not performing the works of mercy but the works of war. We cannot repeat this enough.

Dorothy Day[1]

Dorothy Day was the leader of the "first Catholic group in the United States" to follow the ideals of pacifism.[2] More than thirty years before the Catholic Church accepted pacifism as a legitimate Christian tradition, Day advocated the complete renunciation of war. From 1933 until her death in 1980, she led the Catholic Worker Movement radical movement that sought to perform works of mercy and create a revolution rooted in the love of Christ. Day's spiritual leadership was highly influential. Historian Anne Klejment calls the Catholic Worker Movement the "cradle of Catholic pacifism in the United States."[3] Catholic peace activist and scholar Eileen Egan calls Day the "luminous center" of the Catholic peace movement in the United States.[4] Theologian Mark Massa argues that Day's writings combined "Christian anarchism and pacifism with papal social teaching in a mix that most American Catholics had never witnessed before."[5] Day's opposition to war and violence was well known in the American Catholic Church and the United States. She urged young men to resist conscription in World War II and argued that Catholics should oppose war and refuse to buy war bonds; in addition, she asked citizens to refuse to participate in civil defense drills during the Cold War. Although few Catholics and Americans were sympathetic to the pacifist movement in the forties and fifties, the Vietnam War brought new concerns about American military action abroad.[6] As opinion in America turned against that war, the Catholic Worker Movement led the way as a strong voice of dissent.[7]

The Catholic activists staged a large antiwar protest in New York City's Union Square on November 6, 1965. Day, who rarely spoke in public, gave a brief address—now remembered as the Union Square Speech—encouraging individuals to stand against all forms of war. Day's speech challenged the 1965 amendment to the 1948 Universal Military Service and Training Act, a federal law that made it illegal to "knowingly forge, alter, destroy, mutilate, or in any manner change" a Selective Service certificate—commonly known as a draft card.[8] The speech also confronted the pro-Vietnam War stance of the U.S. government and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), attempting to justify the antiwar position of the Catholic Worker Movement.

Dorothy Day's Union Square speech should not be evaluated solely in terms of its immediate or short-term impacts, but rather as an important event in the long-term evolution of the Catholic and the American peace movement. The speech was reprinted repeatedly in The Catholic Worker and other newspapers, and it came to be seen as a turning point in the growth of the Catholic peace movement. The speech marked the first time Day had spoken at an antiwar rally during the Vietnam War. [9] The speech brought the Catholic Workers into dialogue with new individuals and groups. In later years, Catholic activists would continue to work with the larger antiwar movement, following up their shared opposition to the war in Vietnam with protests against the nuclear arms race in the 1980s and, later still, the War on Terror. Today, the Catholic Workers are considered one of the most prominent groups within the antiwar movement, and their voice has become the voice of Christian pacifism.[10]

Before examining the speech, I will first discuss Dorothy Day's position as the leader of the Catholic Worker Movement and the history of the Catholic pacifist movement in America. Day's Union Square speech advocated an illegal action (burning the draft cards) and an unpopular stance (immediate withdraw from Vietnam) by appealing to a higher moral authority than U.S. law or the beliefs of the U.S. Catholic bishops. After the speech, the Catholic Worker Movement became a more prominent voice for change within the Catholic Church. Although pacifism was never adopted as the official stance of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Worker Movement opened a dialogue about Catholic teachings on war and peace that continues to this day.

 

The Life and Times of Dorothy Day

 

Dorothy Day, leader of the Catholic Worker Movement, social activist, protester, and contributor to modern Catholic theology, was born on November 8, 1897, in New York City. Her childhood was spent moving with her family from New York to San Francisco and finally to Chicago. Growing up in the era of yellow journalism and muckraking, Day devoured newspapers and books about the poor conditions in urban factories and the rise of the labor movement.[11] She admired Eugene Debs for his "inspired utterance[s]" and devotion to labor, and she hoped to join the Industrial Workers of the World when she grew older.[12] At the University of Illinois, she began her transformation into an activist, joining socialist student groups and studying radical ideologies. Day was "in love with the masses," as she later wrote in her autobiography The Long Loneliness.[13] She particularly embraced the "stirring battle cry" of the labor movement: "Workers of the world, unite!"[14] At the university, Day associated with people who could give her a better understanding of the movement against capitalism. Although Day did not complete her degree, these radical affiliations would guide her career, her friendships, and her personal life in the coming years.

Day spent her twenties on New York City's East Side working as a reporter for socialist newspapers and magazines, including The Call, The Masses, and The Liberator. Her first journalistic assignment was to write an account of her life as a "diet squad" member, the term given by The Call to individuals who tried to live off as little as possible. The satirical column turned into a political forum, as Day reflected on how the poor people of New York were being robbed by the capitalist system.[15] Day's writing and reputation as a reporter for The Call introduced her to a number of leftist political activists. Day's first major act as an activist was marching with suffragists in November of 1917. Along with nearly 150 other women, Day marched to the gates of the White House in Washington, D.C. The act resulted in her first jail sentence, where she joined other suffragists in a hunger strike. This famous hunger strike ended only after President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly granted the status of "political prisoners" to the jailed women, which was a moral victory for the suffrage cause.[16] Day would continue to march with the suffragists, the International Workers of the World (IWW), and other labor unions throughout her years living in New York's East Side.

During her twenties, Day was not religious. She had not grown up in a religiously devout family. "I did not think of Jesus as God," wrote Day. "I had no one to teach me, as my parents had no one to teach them."[17] Her religious influences came from limited attendance at a variety of churches, including Episcopal and Methodist churches, from reading the works of the Church fathers such as St. Augustine, and from her neighbors and friends. Day was attracted to religion early in life but abandoned her explorations in her twenties. "I had faith," she wrote in her autobiography, but she would "fling my convictions" away as she grew into adulthood.[18] Through her studies at the university, Day grew to mistrust organized churches: "I felt at the time that religion would only impede my work. . . . I felt it indeed to be an opiate of the people and not a very attractive one, so I hardened my heart."[19] Day's association with the radicals in New York encouraged her to change her affiliations. Day wrote:

 

I was tearing myself away from home, living my own life, and I had to choose the world to which I wanted to belong. . . . As a little child the happy peace of the Methodists who lived next door appealed to me deeply. Now that same happiness seemed to be a disregard of the misery of the world.[20]

 

However distasteful religion was to Day in her twenties, her personal life would later cause her to reexamine her choice to turn away from religion.

Day's personal history involved several failed relationships. Her first serious romance was with Lionel Moise, a French Jew she met in New York while working at a hospital. Moise was a legendary newspaper man and a knowledgeable scholar. They had a brief affair, and Day became pregnant. Day agreed to have an abortion, hoping to convince Moise to stay with her. The gesture proved futile. Day grieved both for the loss of Moise (who disappeared) and their child.[21] She used her experience to write a novel called The Eleventh Virgin, a biographical portrayal of her relationship with Moise, which was published in 1924.[22] Only two years after Moise left her, Day married a Greenwich Village acquaintance, Barkeley Tobey, "on the rebound," as she wrote to a friend.[23] They traveled throughout Europe, but stayed married for only a year, after which Day divorced him to return to her old life as a radical in New York.

In re-embracing her friends and her life in Greenwich Village, Day became good friends with Kenneth and Lily Burke. Kenneth Burke was a renowned literary and rhetorical scholar, while Lily Burke was a suffrage activist. Through the Burkes, she met Foster Batterham, Lily Burke's brother. Batterham and Day became involved, entering into common-law marriage and, as Day wrote, the two "lived together in the fullest sense of the phrase."[24] Sharing a beach house on Staten Island, Day wrote articles for newspapers and attempted to write another novel, while Batterham worked in the city and came back on Fridays to fish and dig clams. In 1926, Day discovered that she was pregnant again, an event she had thought impossible due to her earlier abortion, but one that brought her "blissful joy."[25]

Day's second pregnancy and the birth of her first child, on March 3, 1927, was a turning point in her life. She began to quarrel with Batterham about the wisdom of bringing a child into the world. Day characterized Batterham as unready for fatherhood: "His fear of responsibility, his dislike of having the control of others, his extreme individualism made him feel that he of all men should not be a father," she wrote in her autobiography.[26] For Day, however, the pregnancy was a spiritual experience, as she began to view the world as full of the goodness of the human spirit, a belief that would later be central to her life. She returned to her earlier explorations of religion, participating in community events at a small Catholic parish on Staten Island. When her daughter Tamar was born, Day insisted on having her baptized as a Catholic. Day wrote of the decision, "I was not going to have her floundering through many years as I had done, doubting and hesitating, undisciplined and amoral. I felt it was the greatest thing I could do for my child."[27] Although Batterham accepted Day's daughter once she was born, the couple eventually separated, with the quarrel over the baptism and religion becoming too great to bear. "Forster would have nothing to do with religion or me if I embraced it," explained Day.[28] Although she felt great sorrow, Day stuck to her convictions and ended the common-law marriage with Batterham. A few weeks later, Day herself was baptized and accepted the rites of Christian adults in the Catholic Church.

Day's conversion became the driving force in her life. The experience led her to characterize her life as overflowing with God's love. She later wrote:

 

It was all very well to love God in His works, in the beauty of His creation, which was crowned for me by the birth of my child. Forster had made the physical world come alive for me and had awakened in my heart a flood of gratitude. The final object of this love and gratitude was God. No human creature could receive or contain so vast a floor of love and joy as I often felt after the birth of my child. With this came the need to worship, to adore. . . . My very experience as a radical, my whole make-up, led me to want to associate myself with others, with the masses, in loving and praising God.[29]

 

After her conversion to Catholicism, Day developed a fierce commitment to social justice. She grew frustrated with the complicity of the Church in the oppression of the poor. Before her conversion, Day was nervous about "going over to the opposition, because of course the Church was lined up with property, with the wealthy, with the state, with capitalism, with all the forces of reaction."[30] After her conversion, she felt as though she had no outlet for her radical ideas. Her former socialist friends spurned her as part of the religious masses; the Church offered her little community, comfort, or opportunity for social action. In 1932, Day visited Washington D.C. for a workers' protest and prayed at the national shrine of Catholic University. She asked for God's guidance in finding a way to help her fellow workers and the poor, as well as to learn "all that was valuable" from her radical past and "apply it to new purposes."[31]

Peter Maurin, a French peasant wanderer, became Day's answer to that prayer. Day described Maurin as "intensely alive, on the alert, even when silent, engaged in reading or in thought. . . . He spoke in terms of ideas, rather than personalities, and he stressed the importance of theory."[32] Through him, she learned about the Catholic Church's teachings on social justice, a tradition founded in the ancient Church and modernized in the encyclicals of Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XI. Maurin reoriented Day's radical socialist beliefs about class and society into the structure of "Christian personalism."[33] Christian personalism is a philosophical world view that looks at each person as responsible for the suffering of Christ. This suffering is viewed as reflected here on earth in the suffering of the poor. It is a philosophy that mandates radical action towards alleviating the misery of the poor and oppressed. Through caring for the poor, individuals are able to connect Christ, who died for the sins of all men and women.[34]

Together, Day and Maurin began a program of action to bring the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church to the masses. The pair's activism was grounded in Church tenets, but their views were quite radical in the 1930s. American Catholics were often immigrants, struggling to survive, and dealing with intense nativism and anti-Catholic feelings still present in Boston, Chicago, and New York City. Maurin and Day pressed on, taking their ideas to various Church leaders. They met little success and much skepticism.[35]

Day's experience as a journalist led her to gravitate towards the idea of starting a paper. Maurin contributed a few short essays describing a Christian personalist program of action, but Day served as chief reporter, layout editor, editor-in-chief, and distributor. By scraping together a few donations and neglecting to pay her rent and utilities, Day produced the first edition of The Catholic Worker, an eight-page newspaper on May 1, 1933.[36] The "May Day" edition, distributed in New York's Union Square, addressed the concerns of the unemployed, described the exploitation of blacks in the South, exposed child labor in New York City, and provided religious support for local strikes.[37] In later issues, the paper found its voice, merging Day's experience as an advocacy journalist with columns and essays describing Maurin's philosophical vision for Catholic social justice.

The paper's first May Day issue produced little reaction. Devastated but determined, Day sent copies to "anyone she thought would read it—and then she let them know that a donation would help."[38] Slowly, the donations trickled in from Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the dioceses surrounding New York City. By the end of 1933, The Catholic Worker was gaining in popularity and force, and the circulation approached 20,000.[39] The Catholic Worker continued to grow in size and prominence among working-class and poor Catholics in urban areas until the late 1930s, with circulation growing from 65,000 in May of 1935 to 190,000 in May of 1938.[40]

Day's devotion to the struggles of the working class was noted by influential Catholic bishops, independent parish priests, and lower-class Catholic parishioners. The 1930s and the Great Depression caused a great deal of social upheaval, and working class Catholics in particular began to question the Church's commitment to social and economic justice.[41] Day and Maurin responded to this impulse by publicizing the Church's teachings on social justice. The two "placed the Church at the center of affairs and said it was the only idea, the only institution, worthy of the most exalted reaches of idealism."[42] The paper drew followers looking to devote their lives to The Catholic Worker's vision of justice, and a movement bearing the same name began to grow in cities across the United States.

The first Catholic Worker Hospitality House—a combination soup kitchen, homeless shelter, and community center—opened in Day's East Side tenement house in 1933.[43] By 1936, the house had moved to a double tenement, financed with donations from the diocese. By 1938, there were accommodations in the building for 150 people, and the New York Catholic Worker House of Hospitality kitchen fed an estimated 1,200 people twice a day.[44] The Catholic Worker Movement began to spread to other dioceses, and by the mid-1930s, Houses of Hospitality had sprung up in Cleveland, Harrisburg, Boston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco. In all, there were more than 30 Houses of Hospitality in the United States by 1938.[45]

 

The Catholic Worker and the Catholic Pacifist Tradition

 

While Day originally focused her attention on social justice and the rights of working-class Americans, the Catholic Worker Movement eventually became best known for its devotion to pacifism. The Catholic Church has not historically been considered a "peace church," like the Quakers, the Mennonites, or the Church of the Brethren.[46] Although many Catholics espoused anti-nuclear sentiments after the fifties, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement were virtually alone in espousing pacifism during the Great Depression and World War II. After the dropping of the atomic bombs in Japan, the American pacifist movement gained considerable strength, peaking during the war in Vietnam. The movement was at the center of the American pacifist campaigns of the sixties and seventies, frequently bringing together secular and religious organizations to protest against the United States government.[47]

During World War I, American Catholics represented one of the most patriotic and nationalistic segments of the population. Faced with anti-Catholic sentiment in many American cities, first- and second-generation Catholic immigrants often embraced a fervent patriotism, hoping to be assimilated into mainstream society by demonstrating their loyalty to their new nation. In contrast, Dorothy Day spent World War I in Greenwich Village, associating with radical left-wing thinkers, including members of the I.W.W., socialists, and even anarchists.[48] After her conversion to Catholicism, Day rejected the Catholic doctrine of just war, which she viewed as a mistaken and corrupt theology.

The just war doctrine is derived from the works of Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Aquinas combined the intellectual tradition of Aristotle with the theological tradition of St. Augustine.[49] In various works, such as Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles, Aquinas outlined the right to go to war, but according to theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill, stopped short of giving "clear criteria to determine when and how" to wage a just war.[50] A Spanish Dominican, Fraciscus de Victoria, formulated the just war doctrine almost two hundred years after the death of Aquinas.[51] The just war criteria, according to the most recent Catechism of the Catholic Church, outlines "the strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force." These conditions "require rigorous consideration." The conditions include: (1) the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; (2) all other means of putting an end to the conflict must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; (3) there must be serious prospects of success; and (4) the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. Theologians and historians such as James F. Childress, LeRoy Walters, and Jeffrey Stout have recently debated the foundations and implications of the just war theory.[52] However, as Richard B. Miller acknowledges, just war theory has "deep roots in Western thought, originating in the Middle Ages and continuing in various ways today."[53] The Catholic Church has used just war theory as the basis for judging the morality of armed conflict for hundreds of years.

In Day's view, the medieval Church had justified war to allow nation-states to accumulate power and wealth. These nation-states in turn supported the Church financially and politically.[54] The actions of Jesus Christ, the writings of the Church fathers, and the Christian personalist philosophy all suggested a different attitude toward war, according to Day: the pacifist tradition. The pacifist tradition, she argued, was grounded in "a prophetic view of peace as justice and in a spiritual sense of the individual as responsible to fellow human beings in need and to a redeeming God."[55]

From its inception, the Catholic Workers promoted pacifism as part of their philosophy. Day's early editorials and columns in The Catholic Worker attacked the international arms race, nationalism, and American imperialism. The Catholic Worker also criticized the Italian invasion of Ethopia and condemned British and French imperialism in Africa. Yet it was the Spanish Civil War that inspired Day to fully articulate the Catholic Worker's pacifist position, a position that she and the movement would carry into the nuclear age.[56]

Franco's overthrow of the authoritarian Spanish government in 1936 gave many American Catholics reason to celebrate. Catholicism had been suppressed in Spain by the loyalist government, and while the United States government quietly sent aid to the loyalists, American Catholics viewed Franco as a Catholic general and a hero. Amidst the jubilation, Day harshly criticized Franco. She published pieces in The Catholic Worker condemning his brutality and advocating that the United States remain neutral in the Spanish Civil War. As Day's attacks on Franco and the United States government grew more pointed, the paper's circulation began to drop, a trend that would continue throughout the late 1930s and into World War II.[57]

Even as the movement lost support in the late-1930s, Day refused to abandon her strict pacifist stance. While The Catholic Worker condemned the German and Italian fascists, Day's stance on going to war against these regimes remained firm: war between fellow men and women of God could not be tolerated for any reason.[58] Day continued to explain and re-explain her pacifist view in columns and essays in The Catholic Worker, but the movement lost support as the Nazis and the threat of another world war became more evident. Day began preparations for an ideological struggle against what she viewed as the American war machine, often criticized by Day as "Holy Mother, the State."[59] The struggle in America was particularly difficult because industry was tied up in the government's ability to make war. Day wrote:

 

Union workers in steel plants, auto and airplane factories--many in industry and business would have to find other jobs, jobs not tied up with the war effort. And where could they get them? If they worked in the garment factories, they would have to fill government orders for uniforms. Mills turned out blankets, parachutes. Raising good, building houses, baking bread--whatever you did you kept the wheels of industrial capitalism moving, and industrial capitalism kept the wheels moving on war orders. You could not live without compromise. Teachers sold war stamps and bonds. Children were asked to bring aluminum pots and scrap metal to school. The Pope asked that war be kept out of the schoolroom, but there it was.[60]

 

To combat the military-industrial complex, The Catholic Worker published articles advocating nonviolent resistance to the impending conflict. Through The Catholic Worker and its Houses of Hospitality, Day advocated that Catholics should not cooperate in any way with the military draft instituted by the Roosevelt administration in 1940.

With the support of the Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, the Association of Catholic Conscientious Objectors (ACCO) was founded under the direction of Bill Callahan to assist Catholic pacifists in their struggle against conscription. The ACCO operated two work camps before and during World War II, which assisted only about 135 Catholics. Despite the small numbers, Day was a frequent visitor to the camps, and the Catholic Worker Movement provided much of the legal assistance needed to become a conscientious objector to conscription and military service. The Catholic pacifist position remained clear throughout World War II: even when faced with great evil, pacifism remained preferable to nationalism, imperialism, and the ambitions of the nation-state.[61]

Day and the Catholic Workers suffered greatly as a result of their pacifist stance during World War II. The movement split over the issue of nonviolence as a response to war. Day estimated that at least eighty percent of the movement betrayed its pacifist teachings during World War II.[62] Contributions to the movement and to the conscientious objector work camps sponsored by the movement dried up. Circulation of The Catholic Worker dropped by more than 100,000 subscriptions.[63] Discouraged by the lack of commitment in the movement, disheartened by the closing of hospitality houses around the nation, and troubled by the lack of funding, Day took a sabbatical from the paper in 1943. In 1944, she returned renewed and untroubled, convinced that the remaining 50,000 subscribers represented a solid core of enthusiastic, committed workers.[64] The Catholic Worker continued to espouse pacifism and nonviolence throughout World War II.

The dropping of the atomic bombs at the end of World War II gave the movement new momentum. While the nation was thankful for an end to the war, many Americans were troubled by President Harry S Truman's decision to use such a powerful weapon, and more were concerned by the nuclear arms race that developed afterwards. The Catholic Worker Movement had also learned from its mistakes during World War II. Recognizing the failures of the conscientious objector movement, the leadership came to believe that their message of pacifism had to be "less piously moralistic and more politically radical" in order to gain wide support and impact American policy.[65] In the 1940s and 1950s, the nonviolent Catholic Workers devoted themselves almost exclusively to protesting the arms race. The activists gained momentum as they staged anti-nuclear protests in New York City's Central Park and marches in Washington, D.C., while continuing to publish the once again flourishing Catholic Worker.

The movement's pacifist activism reached new heights during the Vietnam War. Day had been outspoken against the war since the first involvement of United States troops, writing editorials and columns condemning intervention. The Catholic Workers were among the first organizations to protest the war effort in 1963 and 1964. The pages of the newspaper were "filled with reports on nonviolence, theological discussions about pacifism, news from the Vatican Council on the church's attitude toward modern warfare, and accounts of opposition to the Vietnam war."[66] Catholics opposed to the war looked to the Catholic Worker Movement as a resource to find out more about becoming a conscientious objector, as a meeting place for organizing protests, and as a guide for how to oppose the war through nonviolent, direct action. Circulation of The Catholic Worker jumped during the 1960s, from the World War II low of 40,000 to more than 64,000 in 1962 and more than 77,000 in 1964.[67]

The first large-scale protests against the war in Vietnam occurred after increases in the draft in 1964 and 1965. The Catholic Worker Movement had been active during 1962 and 1963, organizing protests where draft cards of conscientious objectors were peacefully burned.[68] However, after President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1965 Amendment to the 1948 Universal Military Service and Training Act that made burning draft cards illegal, the burning of draft cards began to receive more attention.

On October 15, 1965, David Miller, a young Catholic Worker, participated in a rally against the war with other Catholic Workers in New York City. According to a New York Times account of the rally, Miller was the first to burn his draft card after passage of the law.[69] A New York Times feature story on October 24, 1965, characterized Miller as a thoughtful, generous, mild-manner college graduate who, after being arrested and released on bail, "returned … to the job he took up last June at the Catholic Worker Hospitality House—sorting and distributing old clothing to the poor."[70] The article also featured a section on Dorothy Day and the growing support for pacifism:

 

During the Spanish Civil War and World War II, The Catholic Worker lost much of its circulation because Miss Day's pacifist views became unpopular among Catholics. However, she says, the circulation is reviving as more and more of the Catholic clergy plunge into active participation in civil rights and pacifist causes. She says that circulation has reached 85,000.[71]

 

The movement's support only continued to grow in the weeks following Miller's very public arrest. On November 6, 1965, Day and the Catholic Workers arranged an outdoor protest in Union Square to provide more opportunities for young men to burn their draft cards. It would be the first time Day would speak in an outdoor setting, according to her diary from 1965.[72] A. J. Muste, the famous leader of American Protestant pacifism, was also involved in the planning of the protest.

The event was highly publicized, and while there were only about 400 or 500 protestors there, The Catholic Worker, the New York Times, and personal accounts from Catholic Worker activists suggest that between 1,500 and 2,000 spectators were present.[73] By this point, Day represented a central, matriarchal figure in the Catholic Worker Movement, and the rare chance to hear her speak was important to those in the movement. In 1965, Day was 68 years old and rarely spoke in public. She was still highly involved with the publication of The Catholic Worker but also had taken a role in Church politics. She returned from the proceedings of the second Vatican Council in Rome to speak at the November 6 protest in Union Square.[74]

Day's speech focused on the moral justification for the legal transgression of burning the draft cards and, more importantly, challenged the Church doctrines as articulated by the USCCB. Although the hierarchy had accepted pacifism as an acceptable personal moral code, the American Church remained committed to the just war theory.[75]

 

Day's "Union Square" Speech

 

Day's speech casts Catholic pacifism as the transcendent principle of Christian thought, overriding the laws and policies of the U.S. government and the council of American bishops. In writing on the justificatory rhetoric of protestors, rhetorical scholar Howard S. Erlich established three significant principles for successful appeals. First, the action is defended "by invoking moral law."[76] The rhetor places moral law above "legal dictates," and thus argues that the moral law "must be obeyed."[77] Second, rhetors encourage those protesting to have little concern for punishment. The government is viewed as unjust, and so punishment only confirms the righteous actions of those breaking the law.[78] Finally, the protesters are seen as "morally superior human beings" for enacting the higher moral law and disregarding the corrupt earthly legal system.[79]

Day was forced to justify the Catholic Worker Movement's antiwar position because the American bishops were almost unanimously in favor of the war in Vietnam. While individual priests and even some liberal orders of priests embraced liberation theology and nonviolence, the official American Catholic hierarchy remained staunchly in support of U.S. government policies. Ngo Dinh Diem, the U.S.-installed leader of Vietnam from 1955-1963, personally identified himself with the Catholic Church and anticommunism. He had close ties with Cardinal Francis Spellman, one of the most influential bishops in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.[80] The American Catholic hierarchy not only rejected pacifism, but also openly "supported the war effort."[81] Day's speech critiqued the stance of the USCCB by arguing that the law of Christ demanded pacifism, not war--whether that war was just or unjust.

Day's speech was short, reflecting several factors that influenced the rally. First, Day disliked speaking in public, preferring to write newspaper columns and opting for closed, intimate settings when she did speak. The majority of the speeches she gave tended to be short, impromptu addresses. If she delivered a planned address, like during the November 6 protest, Day kept her remarks to the point. Second, it is possible that the brevity of Day's words was in anticipation of the difficulty in managing the crowd. The event was well attended by supporters, but there were almost triple the number of counter-protesters and bystanders in attendance.[82] The setting proved difficult for Day: the New York Times reported that her speech was almost entirely drowned out by chants from the crowd: "Moscow Mary," "Give us joy, bomb Hanoi," and "Burn yourselves, not your cards!"[83] Still, her speech had a large secondary audience after being reprinted in The Catholic Worker and other publications.[84]

Day appealed to the higher moral law of Christ, citing the "new commandment he [Jesus] gave us-- to love our enemies, to overcome evil with good, to love others as he loved us." (2)[85] This she drew from the "greatest commandment" given by Jesus Christ to his followers, as recorded in the Bible: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. . . . And . . . 'Love others as much as you love yourself.'"[86] Day argued that war was inherently evil because it took the lives of "men, women, and children, young and old," regardless of whether they were involved in the conflict directly (2). She condemned the spending of "billions" on defense, because even supposedly "defensive" spending yielded "instruments of destruction"(3). Participating in any war or defensive action, even those that might be considered just, violated the commandments of Christ, according to Day.

Instead of war, Day called for a return to Christ's "instruments of peace, to be practiced by all nations" (3). Day argued that nations of the world must not destroy crops and lives, but instead "feed," "shelter," and "save . . . those precious lives for whom he [Christ] willingly sacrificed his own" (3). There was no just war in Christ's eyes, because Christ was a peacemaker who would never participate in "the immorality of war" (6).

Day drew upon her age and her position as a leader of the Catholic Worker Movement to establish her credibility. She was the picture of a wise elder, with white hair that she wore braided and pinned to the crown of her head and a slender, frail stature. Day stated that she spoke "as one who is old, and who must uphold and endorse the courage of the young who themselves are willing to give up their freedom" (4). Her words upheld the actions of the draft card burners as righteous and elevated Christ's moral law over the laws of the U.S. government. She connected the antiwar protesters with other righteous individuals committing acts of civil disobedience. Specifically, Day called for a "non-violent struggle" for "full freedom and for human dignity" (4). Day concluded the speech by reaffirming the superior moral character of the men burning their draft cards.

Day supported the protesters by declaring her "solidarity" with them (6). As a religious concept, "solidarity" emerged from a papal encyclical written by Pope John XIII in 1961, entitled Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher). John XIII viewed the Church as the "Mother and Teacher of all nations." One of the central teachings of Mater et Magistra is that Christians should be in solidarity with one another, sympathizing with one another's plights and concerns and working to end oppression across the world. John XIII wrote:

 

The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. (6)

 

Solidarity became a common term in the Catholic Left to describe a group of people who struggled towards a common goal. While all participants might not be subject to the same situations, the "solidarity" of being brothers and sisters in Christ united all Christians together against unjust oppressors.

Day's pledge of solidarity with the men burning their draft cards figuratively took on their burdens and punishments as her own. Day demonstrated her solidarity with the protestors by offering herself up for arrest:

 

…we too are breaking the law, committing civil disobedience, in advocating and trying to encourage all those who are conscripted, to inform their conscience, to heed the still small voice, and to refuse to participate in the immorality of war. It is the most potent way to end war. We too, by law, myself and all who signed the statement of conscience, should be arrested and we would esteem it an honour [sic] to share prison penalties with these others. (6-7)

 

Prison was viewed as an honor because being jailed for breaking an unjust law held up moral law over earthly law. The term "statement of conscience" rather than "petition" or "statement of protest" further suggested Day's commitment to moral rather than earthly law.

Day closed her speech by quoting a portion of the Prayer of St. Francis: "Make me an instrument of your peace; Where there is hatred let me sow love" (7). She ended by advocating further civil disobedience as the only way to change Church and public opinions on war and end all violent conflict. Her words were the start of a larger, sustained protest.

While Catholic Workers had been burning draft cards throughout 1964 and 1965, the coverage of the Union Square protest by the New York Times created publicity for the antiwar movement. The Catholic Worker Movement was "first on the antiwar scene and possessed some resources of money, publicity, and experienced leadership" that allowed them to lead "for a time a movement [the antiwar movement] whose many newcomers were mostly nonpacifists."[87] As public opinion grew against the Vietnam War, the public practice of draft card burning, begun by the Catholic Workers and memorialized by Day in her speech, became commonplace. The November 6, 1965, Union Square protest added to the growing momentum of the antiwar movement.[88]

 

The Legacy of the Union Square Speech

 

The Catholic Worker Movement took the lead in a variety of protest acts throughout the Vietnam War era, including tax resistance, draft refusal, and filing for conscientious objector status. Catholic Workers turned to traditional forms of organizational and institutional protest, and out of these efforts emerged key leaders in the Catholic Peace Fellowship and Pax Christi, an inter-denominational Christian organization for peace.

The Union Square antiwar rally in New York was overshadowed by a related event in the Catholic Worker community just three days later. As the five men burnt their draft cards on November 6, the crowd doused the men and their lit cards with water. When they again began to burn their cards, the crowd chanted, "Burn yourselves, not your cards!"[89] Three days later, a young Catholic Worker by the name of Robert LaPorte did just that in front of the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City. Before dawn, LaPorte doused himself with a two-gallon can of kerosene fuel and ignited himself. LaPorte was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he died the next day.[90] The Catholic Worker community was rocked by LaPorte's self-immolation. Instead of a triumphant issue on the November 6 rally, the November 1965 issue of The Catholic Worker led with a pensive column by Day entitled "Suicide or Sacrifice?" Day concluded the column by noting that it had "always been the teaching of the Catholic Church that suicide is sin," but she went on to remind her readers that LaPorte was not in a healthy state of mind when he committed his act, calling him a "victim soul."[91]

LaPorte's death was a set-back for the Catholic Worker's pacifist campaign. Day was troubled, and Thomas Cornell, a Catholic Worker leader and one of the men who burned his draft card at the rally, felt he may have had some personal responsibility for LaPorte's act. In the end, the movement's leaders concluded there was little they could have done to stop LaPorte; part of the philosophy of the Catholic Worker Movement was a decentralized, individualist structure of personal responsibility.[92] In following months, the movement went out of its way to condemn self-destruction and advocate alternate forms of nonviolent resistance.

However, small groups of Catholic Workers took more radical action without official sanction from the leaders of the movement.[93] Catholic priest Philip Berrigan, Catholic Worker Tom Lewis, and other Catholic Workers began "draft raids." The "Baltimore Four" launched a raid on a selective service center in October of 1967, where they poured blood on draft board files to symbolize the pain and suffering of war. Several months later, Philip Berrigan's brother Daniel and four others joined the "Baltimore Four" to launch a second raid on the Catonsville, Ohio selective service center. This May 1968 raid received tremendous publicity after Daniel Berrigan dramatized the raid and the subsequent trial of the "Catonsville Nine" in poetry for The Catholic Worker, America, and other Catholic publications.[94]

No matter what form the movement's protests took, Day always served as a central figure in the Catholic peace movement. The Berrigan brothers attempted to gain Day's approval for their actions in Catonsville, even though Day insisted that breaking and entering was not an appropriate form of protest.[95] Day's words and writings served as inspiration for countless speeches and articles in smaller diocesan newspapers. Day's pacifism drew attention to the brutality and sheer destruction of war in the atomic era. Day increasingly focused her persuasive messages on the inhumanity and destructiveness of nuclear warfare, addressing her concerns to those with decision-making power in the Church.

Before her speech in 1965, Day attended sessions of the Second Vatican Council to represent pacifist interests to the Holy See, a difficult mission as she recounted in her October 1965 column in The Catholic Worker: "It is no easier to receive a hearing with Princes of the Church than it is to receive one from the princes of the world. There is protocol, there is hierarchy and blocs of one kind or another, there is diplomacy in what we generally consider to be the realm of the spirit."[96] Day, along with other pacifist Catholic women, also participated in fasts during the Vatican meetings to "dramatize the struggle within the Council" between European bishops, who generally agreed that the Church should condemn any and all forms of nuclear weapons, and the British and American bishops, who almost universally opposed such a declaration.[97]

Vatican II had acknowledged the pacifist tradition in 1965, but the Council hardly gave a strong endorsement to pacifism. Still, the efforts of Day and other pacifists prompted Pope John XIII to write the encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) in 1963. John XIII argued not only against nuclear warfare, but all war in the modern era:

 

We acknowledge that this conviction owes its origin chiefly to the terrifying destructive force of modern weapons. It arises from fear of the ghastly and catastrophic consequences of their use. Thus, in this age which boasts of its atomic power, it no longer makes sense to maintain that war is a fit instrument with which to repair the violation of justice.[98]

 

Pacem et Terris would be used in the second session of the Vatican II Council to create more inroads for the pacifist tradition. Many Catholic bishops began to conclude that nuclear weapons and modern warfare constituted a "clear violation of Christian morality."[99]

In America, the pacifists faced larger struggles. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was largely pro-war and pro-Vietnam. In 1966, Cardinal Spellman was asked "What do you think about what the United States is doing in Vietnam?" He answered that he "fully" supported "everything it does" before giving his famous line: "My country may it always be right. Right or wrong, my country."[100] While other bishops were not quite so ardently patriotic, the American Catholic hierarchy remained, for the most part, in favor of the war in Vietnam. In 1966, the USCCB argued that the war in Vietnam "could be morally justified."[101] For individual Catholics protesting the war, evading the draft proved particularly difficult. For young men, it was extremely difficult to gain conscientious objector status during the later years of the Vietnam War. As Ronald G. Musto wrote in his book on the Catholic peace tradition, "the witness of the Catholic pacifist was still not easy. Not only had he to convince a skeptical draft board of his sincerity, but he had to do so without the sanctification of his own Church."[102]

As the war in Vietnam escalated, the Catholic peace movement pressured the U.S. bishops to back away from their pro-war stance. While they did not officially renounce the war, the 1968 pastoral letter Human Life in Our Day raised thought-provoking questions about Vietnam and concluded that modern warfare unnecessarily devastated human life. The bishops directly addressed the war in Vietnam, saying:

 

In a previous statement, we ventured a tentative judgment that, on balance, the U.S. presence in Vietnam was useful and justified. Since then, American Catholics have entered vigorously into the national debate on this question, which, explicitly or implicitly, is going deeply into the moral aspects of our involvement in Vietnam. . . . In assessing our country's involvement in Vietnam we must ask: Have we already reached, or passed, the point where the principle of proportionality becomes decisive? How much more of our resources in men and money should we commit to this struggle, assuming an acceptable cause or intention? Has the conflict in Vietnam provoked inhuman dimensions of suffering? Would not an untimely withdrawal be equally disastrous?[103]

 

The bishops called for an end to the use of violence and upheld "principles of nonviolent political and civic action in both the domestic and international spheres."[104] The letter continued, however, to rely on just war principles. The bishops petitioned the United States government to not only allow conscientious objections in general, but also to allow for conscientious objection to a specific war or military action. Finally, on November 19, 1971, in their "Resolution on Southeast Asia," the USCCB concluded that the Vietnam War was not a morally just conflict.[105] By this time, the war in Vietnam had become highly unpopular, and the bishops' statement made little difference in the public debate over war and peace.[106]

The delicate balance between the just war and pacifist traditions continued in the American Church into the 1980s. Anti-nuclearism and radical Catholic activism became intertwined in the Plowshare movement. The Plowshares, led by Philip and Daniel Berrigan, regularly invaded nuclear facilities in the early 1980s and attempted to disarm weaponry or pour blood around the facilities. The Plowshares would offer themselves up for arrest without any resistance, adhering to the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience.[107] During this time, many members of the Church also opposed the Reagan administration's defense policies, as well as the administration's interventions in Latin America. As individual bishops began to "come to the forefront of Catholic witness and prophecy against war," the USCCB met to work on a formal document articulating their evolving beliefs.[108] The "Pastoral Letter on War and Peace," issued in 1983, marked an important moment in this evolution and has inspired a great deal of commentary on the Catholic attitude towards nuclear weapons and war.

Steven Goldzwig and George Cheney, in their 1984 article on the Pastoral Letter on War and Peace, argue that the American bishops were able to form "a new sense of 'mission' and solidarity within their ranks" by authorizing this historical statement in "moral theology."[109] Goldzwig and Cheney consider the bishops to be redefining and recreating themselves under the banner of anti-nuclearism, a radical turn for the American Catholic Church. In contrast, J. Michael Hogan has concluded that, "the Pastoral Letter on War and Peace is best seen as an attempt not to promote but to diffuse a radical Catholic challenge to the American defense policy."[110] Hogan argues that the letter acknowledges the antinuclear, pacifist thought in the Catholic Church, but still ultimately upholds the just war tradition. The bishops, Hogan explains, "employed the 'just war' theory as the sole source of moral criteria in judging actual policies, and ultimately they retreated into a maze of qualifications and ambiguity."[111] Like the 1968 pastoral letter, Human Life in Our Day, Hogan suggests that the 1983 Pastoral Letter on War and Peace was strategically ambiguous, apparently in an attempt to accommodate the range of views within the church on the issues of war and military action.

This tension persists today in the American Catholic Church. While the USCCB continues to invoke the just war tradition, anti-nuclearism and pacifism is a growing dissident voice within the Church. Liberal theological interpretations have strengthened the nonviolent, pacifist tradition within the Church during the last fifteen years. The Catholic Church and many of its members opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, deeming it an unjust war. The USCCB strongly criticized the invasion of Iraq and the use of preemptive force:

 

We join with Pope John Paul in the conviction that war is not "inevitable" and that "war is always a defeat for humanity." This is not a matter of ends, but means. Our bishops' conference continues to question the moral legitimacy of any preemptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq. To permit preemptive or preventive uses of military force to overthrow threatening or hostile regimes would create deeply troubling moral and legal precedents.[112]

 

This criticism suggests that there is growing acceptance of Day's position that in modern warfare, pacifism is the only "just" option due to the destructive power of modern weapons. The USCCB wrote, "While we recognize improved capability and serious efforts to avoid directly targeting civilians in war, the use of military force in Iraq could bring incalculable costs for a civilian population that has suffered so much from war, repression, and a debilitating embargo."[113]

During his papacy, Pope John Paul II issued several papal encyclicals, such as Centesimus Annus, as well as other messages on World Peace days, which condemned modern warfare and called for an end to all forms of military aggression. The Church continues to move towards embracing nonviolence and nonaggression as a preferred morality in today's world of violent conflict. Many post-WWII U.S. military operations, as in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Iraq, may have been justified as important to maintaining national security, but each conflict raised serious questions about American foreign policy, questions similar to the ones Day asked in her autobiography The Long Loneliness: "Can there ever be a just war? Can the conditions laid down by St. Thomas ever be fulfilled? What about the morality of the use of the atom bomb? What does God want me to do? And what am I capable of doing? Can I stand out against state and Church?"[114]

The Catholic Worker Movement continues to rely on the memory of Dorothy Day for inspiration and guidance. Her importance to the movement and the Church cannot be underestimated. After September 11, 2001, The Catholic Worker (which continued to publish after Day's death in 1980) preached a doctrine of pacifism and forgiveness to the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.[115] In 2003, after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, The Catholic Worker began reprinting Day's columns from the 1950s and 1960s, including both inflammatory columns such as "Are They Insane?" (April 1954), and more reflective pieces like, "Poverty and Pacifism" (December 1954). Today, Day is frequently memorialized by writers for The Catholic Worker, some who knew her personally and others who were inspired to join the Catholic Workers by reading her works. Her influence as a pacifist resistor in the American Catholic Church and American politics remains significant.

Day's memory and principles are still frequently invoked in discussion of the post-9/11 War on terror, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. military policies abroad, and the nuclear disarmament debate. Mark and Louise Zwick, head of the Houston Catholic Worker Association, wrote an article that discussed Dorothy Day's likely response to September 11, 2001. "We must not allow the response to be only military might," the Zwicks suggested in honor of Day's sentiments.[116] Calling for nonviolent resistance to the United States' military response in the War on Terror, Zwick and Zwick reminded their readers not to be afraid that they may be alone in their pacifist standpoint. After all, they argued, "Dorothy was almost alone in her struggle to maintain and develop pacifist principles during World War II."[117] In closing, they invoked the words of Day in a 1948 article:

 

We are against war because it is contrary to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and the only important thing is that we abide in His Spirit. It is more important than being American, more important than being respectable, more important than obedience to the State. It is the only thing that matters.[118]

 

Since the beginning of the War on Terror, articles have appeared in the mainstream U.S. Catholic magazine and the Jesuit publication America, urging more Catholics to consider conscientious objection. The Catholic Peace Fellowship issued a call to "raise a mighty league of Catholic conscientious objectors," in the hopes of forcing President Bush to listen to alternative voices opposed to his administration's current foreign policy initiatives.[119]

Speaking out against what the Catholic Workers see as the blind patriotism and militaristic tendencies of the United States may be more difficult in the post-9/11 world. Following in the tradition of Dorothy Day, however, members of the Catholic Worker Movement continue to reject the pro-war tradition of their own Church and the military policies of their government. Day's actions legitimized antiwar protest in the Church, and her movement's popularity today suggests that lay Catholics will continue to stand up to the Church hierarchy and the United States government in the years to come.

 

Last updated — January 7, 2006

 

Sara Ann Mehltretter is a graduate student at the Pennsylvania State University. She would like to thank J. Michael Hogan and Shawn J. Parry-Giles for their guidance and editorial assistance on this unit.

 



[1] Dorothy Day, "In Peace is My Bitterness Most Bitter," The Catholic Worker, January 1967, 1-2.

[2] Patricia McNeal, Harder Than War (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 21.

[3] Anne Klejment, "War Resistance and Property Destruction: The Catonsville Nine Draft Board Raid and Catholic Worker Pacifism," in A Revolution of the Heart: Essays on the Catholic Worker, ed. Patrick G. Coy (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1988), 272.

[4] Eileen Egan, "Dorothy Day: Pilgrim of Peace," in A Revolution of the Heart: Essays on the Catholic Worker, ed. Patrick G. Coy (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1988), 110.

[5] Mark S. Massa, Catholics and American Culture (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1999), 116.

[6] For more information on the Catholic Worker's pacifist activities during the 1940s and 1950s, see Nancy L. Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), Chapter VI "Ominous Times, Valiant Decisions" and Chapter VII "Civil Disobedience and Divine Obedience."

[7] Nancy L. Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, 158-160. See also Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts, eds., "The Catholic Worker and the Vietnam War," in American Catholic Pacifism : The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996); and McNeal, Harder Than War, 131-172.

[8] Law as cited in U.S. v. O'Brien, 1968.

[9] Mel Piehl, Breaking Bread: The Catholic Worker and the Origin of Catholic Radicalism in America (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1982), 230-231. Day spent most of her time in 1963-1965 in Rome at the Second Vatican Council, campaigning for acceptance of pacifism by the Catholic hierarchy. Although the Catholic Worker was involved in protests in late 1964 and early 1965, the November rally represented the first event Day attended.

[10] The Catholic Worker Movement is alive and well today. There are currently Catholic Worker communities in 37 states and 10 countries (http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/commlistall.cfm#). The movement continues to publish The Catholic Worker, as well as local publications for each House of Hospitality. In October 2006, the Catholic Workers assembled for a National Catholic Worker Gathering, which had more than 300 attendees. At that gathering, they released a statement condemning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that was sent to the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Catholic media outlets, and friends of the movement. For more information, see http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/commlistall.cfm.

[11] "Yellow journalism" refers to journalistic practices around the turn of the twentieth century where reporters and editors sensationalized scandals and political events to gain audience interest.

[12] Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness : The Autobiography of Dorothy Day (New York: Harper, 1952), 37.

[13] Ibid., 46.

[14] Ibid., 42.

[15] Ibid., 56.

[16] William D. Miller, Dorothy Day: A Biography, 1st ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982), 95-101.

[17] Day, The Long Loneliness, 21.

[18] Ibid., 36.

[19] Ibid., 43.

[20] Ibid., 42.

[21] Miller, Dorothy Day, 140-142.

[22] Ibid., 162.

[23] As quoted in Miller, Dorothy Day, 143.

[24] Day, The Long Loneliness, 114.

[25] Ibid., 136.

[26] Ibid., 136.

[27] Ibid., 136.

[28] Ibid., 137.

[29] Ibid., 139.

[30] Ibid., 149.

[31] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 22.

[32] Day, The Long Loneliness, 169.

[33] Miller, Dorothy Day, 247.

[34] William D. Miller, A Harsh and Dreadful Love (New York: Liveright, 1973), 5-7.

[35] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 90-92. Day was tolerated by the Catholic hierarchy, who summoned her to the New York Chancery "four or five time" (91). In the 1930s and 1940s, the Church dismissed Day as radicals who rightfully administered the works of mercy--something the Church supported--but had little political clout.

[36] Dorothy Day, "To Our Readers," The Catholic Worker (May 1933): 4.

[37] Nancy L. Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), 35-36.

[38] Miller, Dorothy Day, 256.

[39] Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, 179.

[40] Ibid., 180.

[41] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 53.

[42] Miller, Dorothy Day, 263.

[43] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 96.

[44] Dorothy Day, "To Our Readers," The Catholic Worker, May 1939, 4.

[45] Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, 40.

[46] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 189.

[47] Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, 158-160.

[48] Dorothy Day, From Union Square to Rome (New York: Arno Press, 1978), 72-75.

[49] Lisa Sowle Cahill, Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1994), 82-84.

[50] Ibid., 92.

[51] Ibid., 93-94.

[52] While a myriad of sources on just war theory exist, a brief reading of summarized scholarship can be found in James F. Childress' "Just-War Criteria," in his edited volume Moral Responsibility in Conflicts: Essays on Nonviolence, War, and Conscience (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982). A good understanding of recent discussions and intersections among scholars in just war theory, pacifism, and nonviolent resistance can be found in Simeon O. Ilesanmi's "Just War Theory in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Religious Ethics 28 (Spring 2000): 139-155.

[53] Richard B. Miller, "Aquinas and the Presumption against Killing and War," The Journal of Religion 82 (April 2002): 173.

[54] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 196.

[55] Charles Chatfield, "The Catholic Worker in the United States Peace Tradition," in American Catholic Pacifism: The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, ed. Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996).

[56] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 193.

[57] Miller, Dorothy Day, 332-334.

[58] Robert Coles, Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion, Radcliffe Biography Series (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1987).

[59] Patricia McNeal, "Catholic Peace Organizations and World War II," in American Catholic Pacifism: The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, ed. Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996), 35.

[60] Day, The Long Loneliness, 264.

[61] Day, "Our Country Passes from Undeclared War to Declared War; We Continue Our Christian Pacifist Stand," The Catholic Worker, January 1942, 1, 4.

[62] Day, The Long Loneliness, 271-272.

[63] Piehl and Maurin, Breaking Bread, 197.

[64] Miller, Dorothy Day, 333.

[65] Piehl and Maurin, Breaking Bread, 204.

[66] Anne Klejment, "War Resistance and Property Destruction: The Catonsville Nine Draft Board Raid and Catholic Worker Pacifism," in A Revolution of the Heart, ed. Patrick G. Coy (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1988), 274.

[67] Roberts, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, 159.

[68] Ibid., 159.

[69] Douglas Robinson, "Policy in Vietnam Scored in Rallies Throughout U.S.," New York Times, (16 October 1965), 1.

[70] Edith Evans Asbury, "David Miller and the Catholic Workers: A Study in Pacifism," New York Times, (24 October 1965), 76.

[71] Ibid., 76.

[72] Dorothy Day, Personal Diary, D, October-November 1965, Series D 4, Box 1, Folder 4. Special Collections, Catholic Worker Archives, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

[73] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 233; Douglas Robinson, "5 Draft Card Burners Doused at Rally," New York Times, (7 November 1965): 1.

[74] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 234.

[75] Eileen Egan, "The Struggle of the Small Vehicle, Pax," in American Catholic Pacifism : The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, ed. Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996), 130-131.

[76] Howard S. Erlich, ". . . And by Opposing Them, End Them.' The Genre of Moral Justification for Legal Transgressions," Today's Speech 23 (1975): 14.

[77] Ibid.: 14.

[78] Ibid.: 15.

[79] Ibid.: 14.

[80] Joseph G. Morgan, The Vietnam Lobby: The American Friends of Vietnam, 1955-1975 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 4-6. Diem spent time with Cardinal Spellman during his visits to the United States in the 1950s, and Spellman toured the Vietnam battlefields several times during his role as Archbishop for Military Services. The relationship between the American Catholic hierarchy and Diem is highly debated by historians. See also Paul M. Kattenberg, The Vietnam Trauma in American Foreign Policy, 1945-75 (Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1980), Seth Jacobs, America's Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race, and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia 1950-1957 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), and American Catholics and Vietnam, edited by Thomas E. Quigley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1968).

[81] Thomas Francis Ritt, "The Bishops and Negotiation Now," in American Catholics and Vietnam, ed. Thomas E. Quigley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1968), 109.

[82] Robinson, "5 Draft Card Burners Doused at Rally," 1.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Thomas Cornell, "Life and Death on the Streets of New York," The Catholic Worker (December 1965): 8.

[85] Dorothy Day, "Union Square Speech," D, 6 November 1965, Series W 6.3, Box 2, Folder 5. Special Collections, Catholic Worker Archives, Marquette University. All of the remaining passages from Day's November 6, 1965, Union Square Speech are cited with reference to paragraph numbers in the speech that accompanies this essay.

[86] Matthew 22:37-39, Contemporary English Version (CEV). This passage is also found in Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10:25-28.

[87] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 231.

[88] Ibid., 232.

[89] Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts, "The Catholic Worker and the Vietnam War," in American Catholic Pacifism : The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, ed. Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996), 161.

[90] Ibid., 160-161.

[91] Day, Dorothy. "Suicide or Sacrifice?" The Catholic Worker (November 1965): 1, 7.

[92] Piehl, Breaking Bread, 233.

[93] Ronald G. Musto, The Catholic Peace Tradition (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1986), 252-253.

[94] Klejment and Roberts, "The Catholic Worker and the Vietnam War," 162-163.

[95] Ibid., 162.

[96] Dorothy Day, "On Pilgrimage," The Catholic Worker (October 1965): 5.

[97] Musto, 253.

[99] Musto, The Catholic Peace Tradition, 252.

[100] Ritt, "The Bishops and Negotiation Now," 110.

[101] Ibid., 109.

[102] Musto, The Catholic Peace Tradition, 254.

[103] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Human Life in Our Day, 1968, http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/68-11-15humanlifeinourdaynccb.htm (May 11, 2006).

[104] Ibid.

[105] Eileen Egan, Peace Be With You: Justified Warfare or the Way of Nonviolence (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999), 234-235.

[106] Patrick H. McNamara, "American Catholicism in the Mid-Eighties: Pluralism and Conflict in a Changing Church," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 480 (July 1985): 70.

[107] Musto, The Catholic Peace Tradition, 258-259.

[108] Ibid., 262.

[109] Steve Goldzwig and George Cheney, "The U.S. Catholic Bishops on Nuclear Arms: Corporate Advocacy, Role Redefinition, and Rhetorical Adaptation," Central States Speech Journal, 35 (1984): 22.

[110] J. Michael Hogan, "Managing Dissent in the Catholic Church: A Reinterpretation of the Pastoral Letter on War and Peace," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 75 (1989): 401.

[111] Ibid.: 408.

[112] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Statement on Iraq, 2002 <http://www.usccb.org/bishops/iraq.shtml> (November 12, 2005); Wilton D. Gregory, Statement on War with Iraq, 2003 http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/peace/stm31903.htm

(November 12, 2005).

[113] USCCB, Statement on Iraq.

[114] Day, The Long Loneliness, 272.

[115] Jane Sammon, "September 11, 2001," The Catholic Worker (October-November 2001): 6.

[116] Mark Zwick and Louise Zwick, "A Call to Change America: How Would Dorothy Day Response to an Attack such as September 11?" Houston Catholic Worker, vol. XXII, January-February 2002. http://www.cjd.org/paper/change.html (May 11, 2006).

[117] Ibid.

[118] Dorothy Day, as quoted in Zwick, "A Call to Change America."

[119] Michael J. Baxter, C.S.C., "Catholics Should be More Conscientious about Objecting to War," U.S. Catholic, December 2002, 20.