- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2002

BALTIMORE Philip Berrigan, the former priest whose fight against war and nuclear weapons lasted decades beyond the anti-war movement of the 1960s, died Friday night at Jonah House, a communal residence for pacifists that he founded. He was 79.
Mr. Berrigan led the Catonsville Nine, who staged one of the most dramatic anti-war protests of the 1960s. The group, including Mr. Berrigan's brother, Daniel, doused homemade napalm on a small fire of draft records in a Catonsville parking lot in 1968.
Mr. Berrigan's family said he was diagnosed with cancer two months ago and decided to stop chemotherapy one month ago. Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, officiated over last-rites ceremonies Nov. 30, which were attended by friends and peace activists at Jonah House, family members said.
In a statement given to his wife, Elizabeth McAlister, during the Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Berrigan said, "I die with the conviction, held since 1968 and Catonsville, that nuclear weapons are the scourge of the earth; to mine for them, manufacture them, deploy them, use them, is a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself."
Mr. Berrigan was born Oct. 5, 1923, in Minnesota and served as an artillery officer in World War II. He was ordained a Catholic priest in the Josephite Order in 1955.
He took part in the civil rights movement in the South.
On Oct. 27, 1967, Mr. Berrigan and three others dumped blood on Selective Service records in the Baltimore Customs House, "anointing" them, he said. They waited to be arrested, as they would in most protests.
"We confront the Catholic Church, other Christian bodies and the synagogues of America with their silence and cowardice in the face of our country's crimes," Mr. Berrigan said in a statement that day. "We are convinced that the religious bureaucracy in this country is racist, is an accomplice in this war and is hostile to the poor."
Mr. Berrigan expanded those views to include opposition to almost any form of established government that would wage war, deploy nuclear weapons or even use nuclear power.

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