Just Peace and Gospel Nonviolence – International Day of Peace, Sept. 21st
The Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea has signed and endorses the appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel Nonviolence and develop a Just Peace approach. The appeal is an outcome of the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference held in Rome in April 2016. There is strong expectation that the church’s leadership will give serious consideration to the appeal’s requests.
We invite individuals and/or organizations to consider endorsing the appeal – you can read it and add your name here on the Nonviolence and Just Peace website. After signing the appeal, please share the document widely. A link is available on the Nonviolence and Just Peace Facebook page.
The appeal has been formally presented to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which in turn will give the appeal to the Holy Father.
BACKGROUND – Rome Conference on Just Peace and Nonviolence
“This past April we enjoyed an amazing experience with so many courageous, creative, and audacious peacemakers! The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, members of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Union of Superior Generals/International Union of Superior Generals, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Pace Bene, Pax Christi International, Columbans, and over 80 representatives from around the world were all part of planning this wonderful conference focused on Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace.
We encountered Catholic leaders who negotiated with very violent armed actors in Uganda, i.e. an Archbishop negotiating with the Lord’s Resistance Army, and in Colombia, i.e. a Jesuit negotiating with FARC and the paramilitaries; as well as an Iraqi nun calling to stop the militarization of her country, stop bombing, and to rely on nonviolent strategies to transform the conflict. We also encountered a Bishop in South Sudan who created a peace village and has earned the trust of all the armed actors. We heard of peace education across many of the schools in the Philippines. We heard of trauma-healing programs in Kenya. That only begins to touch the surface.
Pope Francis also wrote us a letter supporting our efforts to start the conference. Cardinal Turkson spoke at the beginning and offered ideas during the consensus process. Here is the press conference on Vatican Radio, including Archbishop Odama from Uganda, and here is an interview with Cardinal Turkson.
At the end of our time together, the attendees used a multi-layered, consensus process to craft an appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence and develop a Just Peace approach. The appeal has been formally presented to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which in turn will give the appeal to the Holy Father, with the strong expectation that the church’s leadership will give serious consideration to the appeal’s requests.
We have a website that covers the conference and includes additional material (videos, background papers, FAQ’s, media mentions, nonviolence and just peace resources, etc.). Thank you for your support and for all your work to make our beautiful, broken world a more just and peace-filled home.”
(from Eli S. McCarthy, PhD. Director of Justice and Peace, Conference of Major Superiors of Men)