Huge response to Pax Christi calls for action

 The Catholic peace movement Pax Christi has reported an overwhelming response to its call for prayers and political action in the aftermath of September 11th. "Within a week we've received more than 20,000 signatures from parishes, convents, groups and individuals around the country for a petition to Tony Blair," said Pat Gaffney, general secretary. "We have also heard of members offering solidarity to the Muslim community, keeping vigil at Mosques during Friday prayer, organising prayer services in their own parishes and joining public vigils in Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton, Salford, Liverpool, Newcastle and London. There is concern that no religious or ethnic group be demonised or exposed to violence, and that non-military means be found to address this current crisis". The petition, organised by the Network for Peace of which Pax Christi is a member, urges Tony Blair to pursue, through international co-operation, every diplomatic means to bring the perpetrators to justice under law, to refrain from military action which will not remove the terrorist threat and to address the root causes of global terrorism. The first batch will be presented to Parliament at the special sitting on Thursday 4 October. Meanwhile, Pax Christi USA has called on its members to fast each Friday as a means of combining spiritual and political aspirations for peace. They said: "At this time of grief and escalating tension in the US, we believe that a fast can communicate the seriousness and urgency of our call for peace and nonviolence".