An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence
The May–June 2016 issue of NewsNotes from the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns (MOGC) contains the full statement affirmed by participants at the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference held in Rome, April 11-13, 2016. Working and planning for many months beforehand, Pax Christi International, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, UISG/USG, and many other international Catholic organizations, including MOGC, co-convened the landmark conference on nonviolence and just peace in the Catholic tradition.
Maryknoll Sister Teresa Hougnon represented the Maryknoll Sisters’ African peace-building team. Her reflection on the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: The way of Jesus,”* also appears in NewsNotes.
Nonviolence and Just Peace, a new global initiative launched at the conference, reaffirms the centrality of active nonviolence to the vision and message of Jesus, to the life of the Catholic Church, and to the long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet.
The web site https://nonviolencejustpeace.net/ gives further background and notes that the conference’s final statement calls on the Church to:
- Continue developing Catholic social teaching on nonviolence
- Integrate Gospel nonviolence explicitly into the life, including the sacramental life, and work of the Church
- Promote nonviolent practices and strategies
- Initiate a global conversation on nonviolence
- No longer use or teach “just war theory”
- Lift up the prophetic voice of the Church.
*The statement is also available online at http://www.paxchristi.net/document/5856.