Pax Christi speaker addresses London peace rally

 Pax Christi members from around the country joined the tens of thousands of people in a peace march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday, to express their horror at the continued military occupation of Iraq. Faith groups, trades unions, environmentalists, together with peace and human rights groups presented a clear message: the war against Iraq was wrong and the military occupation of Iraq - which has resulted in more deaths than the war, is wrong. Addressing the crowds in Trafalgar Square, Stewart Hemsley, head of Pax Christi, said: "I speak as Chair of Pax Christi UK. Pax Christi is an International, Catholic, Peace organisation represented on every continent and in many countries throughout the world. It was conceived following the horrors of the Second World War. We support this demonstration because, as those who would be called 'Children of God', we must be 'Peacemakers.' "Peace doesn't come cheaply - it has to be worked at and made, and so our faith teaches we must do justice to all without partiality, and do what is morally right. Then - and only then, will we have what we most desire - Peace and Security. Again and again we have been told: 'We have no alternative.' A statement that is morally and spiritually bankrupt. There is always an alternative! Christianity teaches us not to deal in falsehood and lies - but to speak truth and deal honestly with one another - this is to be the norm for the whole of society. "Sadly we see a British government lining up with Pontius Pilate who, cynically, asked: 'Truth - what is truth?' To which the answer seems to be: 'Whatever will serve the purposes of the government of the day!' "Christianity teaches that all people are made in, and bear the image of, the Divine. To violate another - is to violate God. We cannot remain silent when faced with the shackled, hooded, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, caged like wild animals. If we don't raise our voices on their behalf now, when our turn comes, there will be no voices to be raised. Civil liberties world wide are endangered. "Together - we must confront these issues. We must not be divided. We must not allow ourselves to be used for other political agendas. Our diversity of faith and political beliefs can be a strength if we unite for the common good, working for a world of justice and equality where we desire the good of the other as much as our own. "As Martin Luther King said 'We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters - or perish as fools.'"

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