Pax Christi National President Bishop Malcolm McMahon appointed Archbishop of Liverpool
We greatly appreciate the engagement that Bishop Malcolm has with us and our work at both national and international levels. In recent years he has helped us champion the cause of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, executed for his refusal to serve in Hitler’s army and supported our work on nuclear disarmament and the arms trade. He has taken part in several international assemblies of our movement. His warm, honest and open
manner have eased the way of collaboration and cooperation – an important model of work for our church today.
Ash Wednesday gathering in Liverpool, 5 March 2014
Liverpool Pax Christi,joined by members of Justice and Peace groups, CND, Liverpool Friends of Palestine, as well as local Clergy and religious on Ash Wednesday, to call for a change of heart from our continued involvement in the research and development of military drones. In the shadows of the University of Liverpool one of 5 universities involved in the Gamma Programme, to develop autonomous systems and costing 4.42 million pounds, we reflected on the effect of military drone strikes around the world and the cost , both physically and psychologically to those living under their constant presence.
Marking each other with ashes as a symbol of our sorrow, we resolved to turn away from military security to a way of security built on love , justice and truth. As a symbol of new life we took bulbs freshly planted to the gardens in front of the Harrison Hughes building where much of the research is carried out. After the service we remained to leaflet the public and the students passing by. Jan Harper, Pax Christi Liverpool
Ministry of Defence building in London marked with blessed ash during a liturgy of repentance to nuclear war preparations. Ash Wednesday 5 March 2014.
See here photographs of the witness from photographer Peter Marshall
For 32 years Christians have gathered at the Ministry of Defence in London on Ash Wednesday to call on the government to repent and move away from nuclear war preparations. Members of Pax Christi the London Catholic Worker and Christian CND from around the country gathered to pray and take part in symbolic acts of repentance and peacemaking as they processed, with three prayer stops, around the Ministry of Defence building.
During the procession the MOD building was marked with crosses using charcoal and ash blessed at the beginning of the service. Those marking were Dr Ray Towey, Fr Martin Newell and Scott Albrecht. * Scott was the only person to be detained by the police.
This year a key part of the today’s message called on the government to cancel Trident, the UKs independent nuclear programme. The government is committed to the replacement of Trident at a cost of £100 billion. The Catholic Church has always been clear in its teaching on nuclear issues. This year in his World Peace Day message Pope Francis said: “I make my own the appeal of my predecessors for the non-proliferation of arms and for disarmament of all parties, beginning with nuclear and chemical weapons disarmament. “ Last year Archbishop Mamberti, speaking at the UN said: “We would like to use this opportunity to renew our call upon the leaders of nations to put an end to nuclear weapons production and to transfer nuclear materials from military purposes to peaceful activities.”
Actions also took place in Liverpool, organised by Pax Christi, who held a public at of repentance or the impact of the use of armed drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) around the globe. (Liverpool University is one of a number engaged in drone research and development funded by arms manufacturers including BAe Systems , a major player in the global arms trade.)
The London action was planned by Pax Christi and supported by Christian CND and the London Catholic Worker.
Contact Pat Gaffney 0208 203 4884
*Dr.Ray Towey (70) missionary doctor who has spent most of the last 20 years in East Africa. Dr Towey has been involved with these Ash Wednesday actions for the past 31 years.
Scott Albrecht (51) from The Catholic Worker Farm in Hertfordshire.
Fr Martin Newell, London Catholic Worker and member of the Passionist religious order