The Berrigans – a Catholic Pacifist’s View

The Berrigans – a Catholic Pacifist’s View

Author of German Catholics and Hitler’s War, Gordon Zahn teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He has long been active in the peace movement. The article below first appeared in the Catholic World and is reprinted with the permission of both that journal and the author. It was written before the recent federal indictment of the Berrigan brothers.

THE CATHOLIC PEACE RADICALS of my generation are increasingly troubled by the failure of Catholic peace radicals of this generation to reject violence. We are inclined to be suspicious of what seems to be a growing willingness to accept violence as a tactic. Today’s Catholic antiwar agitators are apparently gravitating more and more in the direction of the New Left and forming alliances with groups like the Black Panthers, condoning if not actually endorsing the often senselessly disruptive and destructive acts and rhetoric such groups tend to promote.

We have, first, the introduct...

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