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"Franz Jägerstätter is a prophet with a global view and a penetrating insight which very few of his contemporaries had at that time; he is a shining example in his fidelity to the claims of his conscience, an advocate of nonviolence and peace, a voice of warning against ideologies, a deep-believing person for whom God really was the core and centre of life. His prophetic witness to Christian truth is based on a clear, radical and far-sighted analysis of the barbarism of the inhuman and godless system of Nazism, its racial delusions, its ideology of war and deification of the state, as well as its declared programme of annihilating Christianity and the Church. His educated, mature conscience led him to say a resolute 'No' to Nazism and he was executed due to his consistent refusal to take up arms as a soldier in Hitler's war."
Diocesan Bishop Dr. Ludwig Schwarz on Franz Jägerstätter
Pax Christi will host a thanksgiving Mass for the Beatification of Franz Jägerstätter at Westminster Cathedral in London at 7.00pm on Wednesday 21 November.
This follows the Beatification in October of Franz, an Austrian farmer, family man and catholic, who was executed in Berlin in 1943 for his refusal to serve in Hitler's army. Bishop Malcolm McMahon, national President of Pax Christi will celebrate the Mass and Bruce Kent, a Vice-President of Pax Christi will offer a reflection on the life and witness of Franz for today.
Also attending the Mass in London will be Ambassador Matzner and staff of the Austrian Embassy in London, members of the Austrian community in the UK, Erna Putz, biographer of Franz as well as members of Pax Christi UK and Austria and other faith groups working for peace and nonviolence.
Pax Christi has long promoted the life and witness of Franz, holding an annual memorial service in August on the anniversary of his execution and producing publications and articles on his life. Pax Christi will host a Mass at Westminster Cathedral on 21 November to celebrate the Beatification.
For more information contact Pat Gaffney on 0208 203 4884