Paul Farmer, prophetic engagement and the House of Bishops
The September House of Bishops Meeting will have a full agenda including some "on the ground" experience in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and a talk by and conversation with Dr. Paul Farmer who will speak on the Millennium Development Goals. Other issues will grab the headlines in Anglican-land, but the experiences in the wreckage of the Gulf Coast and in the conversation with Paul Farmer will hopefully be a reminder that there are many rooms in the mansion, many miles to go before we reach there, and wreckage on the highway.
Paul Farmer has never taken the easy road. He is a physician - anthorpoligist, the Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School, attending physician at several other institutions and co-founder of Partners in Health, an international non-profit organization that provides free health care in a variety of settings. Paul spends a considerable part of his time in Haiti where he medical director of a rural hospital.
He is quite an amazing person. I am reading one his books, THE USES OF HAITI, which is a profound indictment of the powerful in Haiti, in the US and in the global political and economic world, none of whom have any interest in the poorest of the poor, and in particular the poor of Haiti. It is a devastating attack on the callous disregard of those most in need.
I highly recommend the book. More, I believe the program for this House of Bishops meeting will balance the intensity of the issues that trouble the Communion and the conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury with the intensity of the issues that the mass of people face, issues untouched by our internal snits save for the vague whisper that perhaps renewed trust could lead to greater mission.
I hope the bishops listen well.