The case of the radioactive hammer with Fr. Martin Newell

In this show we discuss the varoius activist activities of Fr Martin Newell (co-founder of the London Chapter of the Catholic Workers Movement ). We talk about the refugee situation in Europe, Peace issues including Sister Megan Rice of Ploughshares and climate issues and the Pope. Interview date – 01-02-2016

Link to podcast


The Catholic Workers Movement (CWM) was started in New York city in 1933 by Dorothy Day, who was a communist anarchist who had become a Catholic but still wanted to put into practice her Socialist and Political beliefs so she got in contact with a French peasant Peter Maurin. He advised her to start a newspaper to highlight the catholic worker teaching and to start houses of hospitality to feed the hungry and house the poor and clothe the naked and also to set up communal farms to provide work. After they set up the houses of hospitality, others also started houses of hospitality autonomously around the United States in the 1930’s.
They were also pacifists, so the CWM became a pacifist movement. It also became a lay movement and were recognized as such by the Catholic Church.

At the moment there are currently about 200 CWM houses and communities in the US and 15 other countries including 4 in the UK. The London Chapter started in 2000 and had their first House of Hospitality for destitute asylum seekers that began 10 years ago. In the 1960’s the American Secret Service had branded the CWM as the second most subversive group after the Communist Party.
The Ploughshares movement came out of the CWM with people like the Bergen movement who were well known as coming from an Irish background and were part of the first Ploughshares action which involved entering a Nuclear factory and hammering on a nuclear missile nose cone.
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