WASHINGTON, DC- Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq (CEWI) today announced an important milestone in its national effort to mobilize Catholics to become a powerful voice for ending the war in Iraq.
In just four weeks time, more than 10,000 Catholics from across the United States have signed Catholics for an End to the War's online petition ( www.catholicsforanend.org) urging leaders to commit to a responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops. In September, CEWI will present Congress with thousands of signatures showing Catholics stand united in their call for a new Iraq policy.
"Church leaders and individual Catholics have opposed U.S. policy in Iraq since before the war began," said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. "NETWORK supports this petition because it lets thousands of Catholics unite to speak out even more strongly for an end to the violence and occupation. It's time for a responsible withdrawal of combat troops and a new course of action to bring peace to Iraq."
Following the lead of Pope John Paul II, who in January 2003 urged U.S. leaders to forgo war in favor of peaceful engagement with Iraq, and recognizing that this year's troop escalations have failed to improve conditions in Iraq, the CEWI petition calls for a new Iraq policy based on dialogue, diplomacy, and reconstruction. Of the thousands of Catholics who have joined the CEWI effort, hundreds have volunteered to help organize local activities aimed at key legislators. In CEWI's largest "offline" actions yet, members in seven states will participate in national "Take a Stand" events next week (August 26 to September 1) in coordination with Americans Against Escalation in Iraq's Iraq Summer program.
Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq is a project of Catholics United, with support from NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Catholics United 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.
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.
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, with consultative status at the United Nations.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is a non-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fullness of the Catholic social tradition in the public square. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good works to promote the necessary conditions for a culture of life - a culture that reverences the dignity of the human person over greed, materialism, and the politics of division.
Catholics for an end to the War in Iraq (CEWI) is a coalition of non-partisan nonprofit organizations under sections 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Each sponsoring organization conducts activities appropriate to its tax and election law status under the umbrella of CEWI. Coalition partner organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC have not endorsed or sponsored any CEWI statements naming candidates for public office or calling on legislators to support or opposed specific legislation.