Pax Christi USA sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Daniel Ellsberg, who died on Friday, June 16. Ellsberg, 92, died four months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, dies at 92 (Washington Post)

March 20, 2003 Bishop C. Joseph Sprague speaks to a prayer circle after they crossed the barricade and before they were arrested. Also in the image are Daniel Ellsberg and Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, both in front of the bishop. About 70 religious leaders and peace activists marched from New York Ave. Presbyterian Church to Lafayette Park in front of the White House where they climbed over bicycle barricades and offered themselves for arrest as a witness against the U. S. war against Iraq. The civil disobedience was coordinated by Pax Christi USA. About 100 supporters gathered to support the arrestees. (c) Rick Reinhard / Impact Digitals 2003

Ellsberg was best known for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, secret documents which revealed that the U.S. government knew, years before it ended, that the war in Vietnam could not be won, exposing the duplicity of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. He was charged with espionage, but the case against him eventually was dismissed.

In the 50 years since the release of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was an anti-war activist, speaker, and prolific writer, especially dedicated to raising awareness of and resistance to nuclear weapons.

Though he was not a person of faith, Ellsberg respected Pax Christi members and others who choose to act from a faith perspective. We were honored to have his participation in our events, such as the demonstration at the White House against the Iraq war in March 2003.

Ellsberg’s son, Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, has written this essay about his father as a “person of hope.”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Pax Christi USA mourns the passing of Daniel Ellsberg

  1. DAN was not affiliated with any one religious group. He was a MAN OF GOD nevertheless. The historical Jesus said; “put away your weapons – no war – no violence !!” Dan echoed that message, and so he is, indeed, a man of God.

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