The Common Good

News Briefs: Letters seek repentance for war, urge pope to confront Bush over war

Date: March 11, 2008

More than 3,000 people, many involved in the Catholic Worker Movement and peace activism, have signed a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking him to call for an immediate end to the Iraq War during his U.S. visit in April.

Another statement circulating among faith leaders marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq March 19 with a call to repentance for "the sin of this war."

The letter to the pope asks him to reconsider his plans and refuse to meet with President George W. Bush until the Iraq War, which the pope has opposed, is ended. The pope and the president are scheduled to meet at the White House April 16. "

The separate anniversary statement, titled "Call to Lament and Repent: Guide Our Feet to the Path of Peace," was started as a Lenten project through Sojourners, an evangelical Christian community.

"This season of Lent, we are truly living 'in darkness and in the shadow of death' as we mark on March 19, 2008, the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq," it opens. "It is a war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes and fought by our sisters and brothers. As U.S. Christians, we issue a call to the American church to lament and repent of the sin of this war."