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I am convinced that what is called 'dissent' in the Soviet bloc is a specific modern experience, the experience of life at the very ramparts of dehumanized power. As such, that 'dissent' has the opportunity and even the duty to reflect on this experience, to testify to it and to pass it on to those fortunate enough not to have to undergo it. Thus we too have a certain opportunity to help in some ways those who help us, to help them in our deeply shared interest, in the interest of mankind.

     Even though I had not known or worked closely with Fr Tissa as some others here. I constantly think of and miss two of my mentors in activism. One is Fr. Tissa. And it’s humbling to speak about such a visionary, committed and simple man. Who I called a  Loving and Gentle Rebel.  I had first met him when I was in the Young Christian Students (YCS) Movement. We used to come to CSR, to borrow materials and equipment. Amongst the videos that Fr Tissa lent us, and left a lasting impression, was the video about Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvadore, who was assassinated for his uncompromising positions and harsh criticisms of an authoritarian regime.

Abstract of my book "culture of benevolence"

1. People think in many different ways.

In relation to society there can be some structures identified as hierarchic – democratic – humanitarian. But we have to go further than that. All these structures – according to the Anima Magna culture – need to be filled with benevolence for all and magnanimous thinking for all:

"I want to live and I want, that you live.  We all care that we all exist well".

Matthew’s Gospel gathers together three invitations from Jesus that we his followers need to listen to attentively, since they can transform the climate of discouragement, weariness, boredom that often pervades some parts of our communities.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.” This is the first invitation. It’s directed toward all those who live their religion as a heavy burden. Not a few Christians live beaten down by their conscience. They aren’t great sinners. They simply have been taught to always have their sin before them and they don’t know the joy of God’s continuous forgiveness. If they meet Jesus, they will find themselves relieved.

     I found myself thinking of borders as more of “frameworks” rather than “walls”.  As has been often said this weekend, we need some kinds of borders.... for identity, making our space... my space... your space.... helping to define things... But the purpose for borders, and often their expansion at the expense of others could also be out of fear, or greed, or arrogance.... it could be territorial, cultural, economic or on any level of life’s relationships.   Borders as frameworks create order and space... Borders as walls create conflict.  And the sad thing is that conflicts make money.

Often referred to as the church's “best kept secret,” the Catholic social tradition offers instructive principles to engage the world through the lens of faith. An adequate understanding of the tradition and contemporary ethical debates is particularly important for those in ministerial and educational positions.