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Pax Christi cancels US national meeting in dispute over speaker

Pax Christi USA has cancelled its national assembly after the Catholic university where the meeting was to be held refused to allow the planned keynote speaker on the campus because he supports keeping abortion legal.

Pax Christi national coordinator Nancy Small told Catholic News Service on Monday that next month's annual meeting in Memphis, was cancelled after Christian Brothers University notified her that the Rev. James Lawson, the keynote speaker, would not be permitted to speak on the campus.

Rev. Lawson, a retired Methodist minister known for his civil rights activism since he began working with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was scheduled to talk about how to build a culture of peace through nonviolence. In recent years he also has spoken occasionally in favour of keeping abortion legal.