Richard Cross Home Page

 Kathleen and Richard Cross

        The Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, had as his motto the Latin phrase:  "Cur non?"  "Why not?"  In this site you will find some provocative essays on music, religion, culture, and efforts for justice and peace in the Middle East. I will introduce you to some revolutionary  characters  who made waves in the arts and religion their own day.  How can  the religious and cultural values we have inherited  be appplied to our personal relationships and in the world at large? If you read my personal profile you will learn what value system I bring to this site. I welcome your response. 


Two other mottos of my favorite friends inspire me:

1. Erasmus of Rotterdam: “Concedo nulli   I yield to no one

2 Franz Liszt:  Génie oblige  Genius has its obligations

or as Christ would say: “To whom much is given much shall be demanded”


Personal interests: Now that I am retired I can devote more of my efforts to causes dear to me:    

                 * music and the arts: emphasis on the life and times of Franz Liszt and associates in the 19th century
                * issues of peace and justice with special emphasis on the Middle East  Support for Israeli Peace activists
                (Gush Shalom, Brit Tzedek v' Shalom, Pax Christi) "As the years passed, my revulsion against violence increased
                until the movement for peace became one of the principle purposes of my life."  (Bishop Paul Moore, 1997)
             * care of the teminally ill as a Hospice worker
             * ecumenism: among Christians and dialog with the local Muslim community
             * music and the arts: emphasis on the life and times of Franz Liszt  and associates during the 19th century
             * church history, liturgy,  reform and controversy
             * "God has many sould that the visitble church does not have.  The visible church has many souls
                that  God does not have."  (Augustine)


To listen to a sampling of our music  (Put your sound on for this and click on the                         following two links)

1. Kathleen sings "Danny Boy" with Richard at the piano:

                Click here:   Kathleen and Richard perform "Danny Boy"

            2. Richard at the piano - recorded in Brittany (France - October 2003)

                Click here:    An improvisation on a traditional Breton tune

My personal history, resume, family photos, and a couple of "sins of my youth":

click on:  Richard's story

Richard Cross

Kathleen Stanton Cross- lyric soprano


Personal Affiliations:

Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding
                -  Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
                -  Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
                -  Pax Christi
                -  The Other Israel
                -  Gush Shalom
                -  Brit Tzedek v' Shalom
                -  WESPAC
                -  United Palestinian Appeal
                -  Olive Tree Foundation for Peace
                -  Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)
                -  Network
                -  Amnesty International
                -  Arab-American Anti-discriminaton Committee  (ADC)
                -  CORPUS
                -  Call to Action
                -  The American Liszt Society
                -  Hospice of Westchester (volunteer)
                -  Sons of the American Revolution


J.S. Bach's beloved "red-headed priest" had a revolutionary approach to music threapy for underprivileged and unwanted girls in 18th century Venice.  People flocked from all over Europe to hear his girls perform works he had composed. His church on the Grand Canal is an acoustic wonder as well.

Have we forgotten how to be civil to  one another? Erasmus of Rotterdam speaks to our own day..

How a young Jewish virtuoso and protégé of Franz Liszt got into trouble with his master and ended his life as a Carmelite monk in a German prison camp.

Stoning the Prophets:  How the Abbé Lamennais, reformer and artists' hero in the mid-1800s made waves in the church, meriting two encyclicals of condemnation along the way. Would he be vindicated by the Second Vatican Council a century later?

How the faithful are denied access to the sacraments and ministry for the sake of a purely disciplinary and human law.

Are Brahms, Mendelssohn and the Schumanns still at war with Liszt and Wagner? I did a little survey..

A few thoughts on my life with music.

Was the John-Paul II's  appeal for "amnesty" and "reconciliation" applied to his own church or was it a lost opportunity and simply a message for others?

Since the Middle Ages one town in Belgium has defied all established practices in dealing with the mentally ill.

A discussion of the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.


Some have heard of it.  Most have never seen it.  I found one. Examine this all-too-soon forgotten and unhappy chapter of church history.  Look who's in it..

The early Dutch settlers in New York would not recognize their home town if they paid a visit today. They would be in for a few surprises. 


Which  is the more appropriate posture for the liturgy?  Is America out of step?

When the bishop who confirmed my son dies of AIDS  I was moved to reflect on the present crisis in the clergy in the light of my 20-year seminary experience.  (This was written before the scandals erupted).

In July of 1958 Idelivered my first sermon in French to the good people of Quiberon, a town at the tip on the Quiberon peninsula on the southern coast of Brittany.  Visit this lovely Breton town and former fishing village (links). Ici vous trouverez ma petite homélie délivrée en 1958 aux braves gens de Quiberon.

Read about my six years as a student at the American College at the University of Louvain (Belgium) founded in 1425. My hero, Erasmus, taught here during the Renaissance and some of the giants at the Second Vatican Council were my professors during those years.

A detailed reserach of the geographical, political, ethnic and religious divisions in the Middle East: maps, Arab terminology in today's news, and excerpts from the Quran (Koran).

on our son's wedding to Milagros Menendez and my toast to the couple
See some photos of our son's marriage to Milagros and read the toast I offered at the reception.

onFlorilegium Franz Liszt
An anthology of quotations from the over 30 books I have read on the life and times of Franz Liszt.  Wonderful drawings of some of Liszt's associates by William D. Bramhall, jr.  Also a letter of Liszt's in my posession (May 16, 1881). 

on the thoughts of the great Hanan Ashrawi
This eloquent Palestinian Christian woman challenges America to be more balanced  and involved in the Middle East crisis.

on Letters from the Heart
I have had over 70 letters published in the press on various topics such as  the Middle East crisis, church reform..

on Love and Friendship
An anthology of quotations taken from my readings over the years on the subject of love and friendship. Some are naughty.

on God & Co. and the human condition
An anthology of quotations taken from my readings over the years on the subject of God and the human condition..

on the War with Iraq
A position paper before the recent Iraq War as to why it was unjustified, unnecessary, and fraught with danger.  I participated in the giant Feb. 15, 2003 demonstration in Manhattan against the war. Georges Rouault's painting of "War which Mothers Hate." 

on What America's Critics are Saying
An opinion as to why the rest of the world is dubious about our foreign policy goals.

on The Party of Lincoln Hijacked
Read about my patriotic credentials dating back before the American Revolution and see why I feel the Republican Party has been captured by a neo-conservative cabal that has betrayed our republic and the spirit of our Founding Fathers with their imperial agenda.

on French-Bashing
The recent anti-French sentiment calls for an historical overview together with my own observations on the "gratitude" that is called into question. Is this the real issue at the heart of the matter or is there not something else that deserves our consideration? Photographic evidence bears out my experience and opinion in this matter.

on Rachel Corrie
How did a young American college student end up killed by the Isareli army using an American-made bulldozer in Palestine. How she was bulldozed to death as she tried to prevent home demolitions in Gaza. Eye-witness acounts. Photos.

on a Love Letter from the Grave
Among my collection of old letters there is one moving 1869 letter (see a photo) that still has the violets that Will pinned to his letter written at a gravesite to his beloved Alice. Read and be moved.

on recollections of the controversial papal encyclical "Humanae Vitae"
Read the 1958 statement that 18 priests of the Diocese of Saginaw, including myself, signed and sent to our local paper concerning this encyclical on birth control. It got us into real hot water with our bishop and became an eventual milestone in my life.

Paris Journal
A musician revisits Paris,  its churches and their pipe organs in 2003.

The Cost of War beyond Dollars (English version and French translation)
In response to an article in The Journal News about the effects of war on some veterans I sent in this commentary- also translated into French

Mel Gibson's Jesus
There are some serious reasons why I do not want to view Mel Gibson's film "The Passion."

My memorable experience as a Hospice volunteer
With the  permission of the patient's family our local Hospice asked me to write about my ten and a half months working with Bill. This narrative was published in the Fall 2005 Hospice Newsletter.
Ravel and Me
My early experiences exploring the life and works of Maurice Ravel. Visits to his home and gravesite.  Photos. An unsettling experience while attempting to purchase a portrait of the composer.

Take me back to Guadeloupe
Visit the island of Guadeloupe, spectaular French territory with a link to the American Revolution.

The Bishops' Misguided War
Some extremists bishops diminish their credibility with their mypoic focus on abortion.

                   Death in France
                   A cultural view of the French attitude toward death via obituataries found in Le Monde and Le Figaro.

                   My presentation at a local mosque
                   Asked by Muslim friends to describe my experiences in writing letters to the newspaper.

To acquire our new CD. click on: a description

Contact author:


for the Middle East

1. For a moderate and scholarly Christian Arab assessment  of the present crisis in the Middle East as well as a chronological outline of the history of developments in this area consult the following web site:


2. For an Israeli women's Peace Movement which works with Palestinian women for justice and peace and other interesting Israeli sites consult the following:

3. For many interesting sites about religion, theology, and culture:

Christus Rex: (excellent sites)

Christus Rex Guest Links

Christus Rex other links

Virtual Religion Index (Rutgers University)