For the second consecutive year, the Archdiocese of Montreal’s Social Action Ministry Office and the Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops (Council Church and Society) are joining their voices with those of many other individuals and public organizations in co-signing a declaration published Saturday, November 7 in the newspaper Le Devoir calling for peace and the non-militarization of conflicts.

From the communiqué issued by the Assembly:

‘The letter drafted by the collective organization Échec à la guerre, entitled ‘L’heure est grave’ [‘The Situation is Critical’] was published as part of the annual White Poppy campaign. This campaign invites the public to remember the thousands of civilian victims of wars so that other victims can be spared. This year, the campaign’s theme is ‘Ten years of action against war and militarism. The urgency of nuclear disarmament.’

In his most recent encyclical letter, Pope Francis writes, ‘All war leaves the world worse than it was before. War is always a failure of politics and of humanity, a disgraceful capitulation, a retreat in the face of the forces of evil.’1 He invites us to come closer and open our eyes to the truth about the victims of war: ‘Let us look at reality through their eyes and listen to their stories with an open heart. In so doing we will know the abyss of evil that is at the heart of war, and we will not be offended by being called naïve for having chosen peace.’2

The choice for peace testifies to our faith in Jesus Christ, ‘the face of the Father’s mercy,’3 by acknowledging the dignity inherent in every human being as created in the image of God.

The Assembly considers that the white and red poppy may be worn together every November, in joint commemoration of the victims, both civilian and military, of armed conflicts. The white poppy is distributed by the collective organization Échec à la guerre, and the red poppy is distributed by the Royal Canadian Legion.

At this tenth anniversary of the campaign, the Social Action Ministry Office pays tribute to the women’s religious communities and L’autre Parole, who have been actively involved in the White Poppy campaign since its inception.

To read the declaration calling for peace and the non-militarization of conflicts, please click here.