Catholics Mobilize to End War in Iraq

Posted July 12, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2007

Contact: Chris Korzen
(202) 903-0856
ckorzen@catholics-united.org

Catholics Mobilize to End War in Iraq

National Campaign Will Pressure Leaders to Pursue Diplomacy, Redevelopment and Responsible Withdrawal

Washington, D.C. - Catholics United today launched a new coordinated national effort to mobilize Catholics to become a powerful voice for ending the Iraq war.

Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq, www.catholicsforanend.org, will provide Catholics opportunities to join sign-on petitions, media campaigns, targeted local events and other strategies that pressure our leaders to begin a responsibledrawal of U.S. troops. The collaborative initiative is supported by NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement.

Catholics account for more than 1 in 4 voters nationwide, and the war in Iraq now ranks as the single most pressing concern for Catholic voters. A post-election poll in 2006 found that 47% of U.S. Catholics considered the war in Iraq the most important issue that affected their vote.

“Catholics from all corners of our nation are adding their voices to the broader movement for an end to this war,” said Chris Korzen, Executive Director of Catholics United. “By joining the Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq campaign, Catholics now have a unique opportunity to send a clear message to our leaders: our faith community demands immediate action on this issue, and will no longer tolerate an open-ended commitment in Iraq.”

Catholics for an End to the War will encourage our leaders to bring together Iraq’s warring factions in a multi-party conference that involves neighboring countries in the peace process, provide funding and reconstruction support for Iraq, and begin an end to U.S. military operations anddrawal of combat troops.

“It’s critical that Catholics work together to change the course of the U.S occupation of Iraq,” said Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK. “Pope John Paul II spoke out against the invasion. Pope Benedict XVI has met President Bush expressing his concern. The U.S. bishops have issued statements of concern. Now it’s time for the Catholic people and all people of good will to demand a responsible end to this military occupation.”

“The launch of the Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq Campaign marks a milestone in the growing movement for a new direction in Iraq,” said Dave Robinson, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA. “The campaign will offer a broad spectrum of Catholics an effective way to make their voices and the voice of our faith tradition heard by those who need to hear it the most.”

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Catholics United (formerly Catholics United for the Common Good) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. We accomplish this mission through online advocacy and educational activities. For more information, visit www.catholics-united.org.

NETWORK is a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace that educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation. Founded in 1971 by 47 Catholic sisters, NETWORK is supported by thousands of groups and individuals committed to working for social and economic justice. For more information, see www.networklobby.org.

Pax Christi USA is the national Catholic peace movement, reaching more than half a million Catholics in the United States. Our membership includes more than 130 U.S. bishops, 800 parish sponsors, 650 religious communities, and 300 local groups. Pax Christi USA is a section of Pax Christi International, the international Catholic peace movement, consultative status at the United Nations. For more information, visit www.paxchristiusa.org.