Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Reverend Paul in Washington;
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Peoples Shepard 1921-2002
mp3: 2.8 MBs, 3:27
In the bible,
Saint John, 10:16 Jesus is quoted as saying In other sheep
I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and
they shall hear my voice. The good shepherd parable of the
bible, which reflects Christ speaking before a disbelieving assembly
of Jews, of the metaphor the shepherd who knows, and is known by
and cares for the sheep, rather than a hired hand who cares not
for the sheep, but only for his pay, is an ideal parable for the
remarkable life of the Reverend Paul M Washington.
priest who served as Rector Emeritus of the Historic Church of the
Advocate at 18th and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia. Father
Paul Washington, as he was affectionately and respectfully known,
engaged in the great and tumultuous social struggles of the 1960s,
well into the 90s, an era that marked Philadelphia and the nation
as well. He always seemed to side with the powerless, against the
powerful, on the side of the other sheep. As a young
priest he remembered as a turning point when a tearful and distraught
North Philadelphian named Jackie came to the church after being
evicted from her home and hungry. When he began to soothe her with
talk of Gods love, the mother of seven exploded: Listen
Mister, You can talk about Gods love because obviously he
loves you. You live in that big comfortable house next door. You
have food for your children and you are Pastor of this big church.
Now you just show me, how God loves me... Father Paul and
his wife Christine were moved by the mothers plea. They made
room in the rectory for her until she found a job and got back on
her feet. He would call her later, his best teacher, for she helped
make his gospel teaching real. In the years to come, this tall,
bassed voice, big-hearted priest would open the doors of his church
to the Black Power conference, for the late Kwami Toure, then Stokely
Carmichael in 1966. A memorial for the Chicago Black Panther party
martyr Fred Hampton in 1969. A national Black Panther-led Constitutional
convention in 1970. The ordination of women into the priesthood
in 1974 and 1991 and beyond. He played a central role in the formation
of the Move Commission and formed a group that condemned the police
massacre of MOVE on May 13, 1985 and sought to prevent a repeat.
He once described his feelings like an alien, as a Black man in
a predominately White seminary as he studied for the priesthood.
During his tenure at the Advocate, however, he saw it as his calling
to alienate none, but to reach out and include all in the family
of God. His was a social gospel, which stood for the poor, the powerless,
the oppressed and the dispossessed. Those who were deemed the least
of these in brought together in pursuit of social justice. Admired,
respected and loved for his courage as well as his gentle compassion.
Father Paul Washington is
gone, but will not be forgotten.
From death row,
this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
The Power of Truth
is Final -- Free Mumia!
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Copyright 2002 Mumia Abu-Jamal