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Peace Protesters Greet Cardinal O’Connor at Destroyer Launching

February 20, 1993

BATH, Maine (AP) _ Nearly two dozen peace activists demonstrated outside Bath Iron Works at the launching of an Aegis destroyer Saturday, and one protester interrupted an address by New York Cardinal John O’Connor.

Attending the ceremony as a family friend of the late Rev. John F. ″Jake″ Laboon for whom the destroyer is named, O’Connor shrugged off the protest with a joke and no major disruption occurred.

Outside the shipyard, Suzanne Hedrick, who spoke for the protesters, said: ″We’re opposed to the church giving its blessings to war machines.″

The woman who interrupted O’Connor by reading from a Bible identified herself as Susan Silverio.

O’Connor, acknowledging controversies that have routinely marked his tenure as the eighth Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, resumed his remarks after Silverio was escorted away.

″You may wonder what the cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church is doing in a classy place like this,″ he said. ″I’ve really come here because I’m running out of friendly audiences.″

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