Catholics For Peace join anti-war rally

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  • April 13, 2007
TORONTO - Ten Catholics For Peace were among a couple thousand protesters who marked the fourth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq with a St. Patrick’s Day rally across the street from the U.S. consulate and a march through downtown Toronto converging on the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square.
The little band of Catholic peace activists gave out dozens of pamphlets explaining who they were and why they were protesting Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan.

“We’re here to demonstrate with our bodies our protest against violence,” said one of the founding members of Catholics For Peace, Deacon Bert Cambre.

Pat Nugent of No One Is Illegal was among the protesters who stopped to talk to the Catholic group.

“I’m glad to see the Catholics are broadening their right-to-life to include Iraqis and Afghanis, and oppressed people everywhere,” Nugent said.

In an e-mail to The Catholic Register afterwards, Nugent explained that at previous anti-war protests he and friends had remarked on the constant presence of religious groups at anti-war events, but wondered about the absence of Catholics.

“Then at this rally there really were Catholics for Peace,” said Nugent.

Nugent believes Catholics are a natural fit in the anti-war movement.

“I am glad to see Catholics participating as an organized force in the anti-war movement along with other Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith groups,” he said. “We want a government that rejects the use of force to settle international disputes. If all people of conscience unite, we can bring this about.”

Among the veteran Christian anti-war protesters was Reg McQuaid holding up one end of a purple KAIROS banner, representing the national ecumenical social justice coalition.

“We see Jesus as the prince of peace,” he said. “He would not have adopted military means of settling disputes.”

Catholics For Peace of Toronto began meeting in the fall of 2006 with the aim of eventually forming a Canadian wing of the international Pax Christi movement.

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