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Activists demonstrate against war, confronting cardinal at cathedral

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2002

BOSTON (AP) -- A group of Roman Catholic peace activists protested in front of Cathedral of the Holy Cross and confronted Cardinal Bernard Law, arguing church teachings do not allow support for the U.S. military action in Afghanistan.

About 35 members of Pax Christi, a Catholic peace movement, and Agape, a lay Catholic community in Hardwick, demonstrated for several hours in front of the cathedral on Dec. 30, then approached Law at the end of Mass. They asked him to exercise ''moral leadership'' by opposing war.

Law, who has supported military action following the Sept. 11 attacks, said he respects the views of the protesters but does not agree with them. He urged them to reread the Catholic catechism, which teaches war is acceptable as a last resort to protect the common good.

''There are those in the church who believe that they must conscientiously object to all war at any time,'' he said. ''I respect people who have that position, but I would have to say that that is not the position of the church.''

The protest was not adversarial, as cathedral staff invited the protesters in for coffee before Mass. Law acknowledged their presence from the pulpit, saying, ''We certainly associate ourselves with their prayer for peace.''



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