Sponsored by the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative of Pax Christi International, a series of roundtable discussions with Catholic voices confronting violence with the power of nonviolence will be held throughout the month of September.
(Brussels, August, 31 2023). As a contribution to the spirit of the coming General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pax Christi International’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI) is launching a global conversation on nonviolence.
Beginning September 2023, this dialogue will include voices from many regions of the world featured in a series of online roundtable discussions to share their experience of nonviolence in action, especially within the context of acute violence. The final universal phase of the Synod of Bishops on synodality will begin with the October 2023 General Assembly at the Vatican and will continue through October 2024.
The Catholic Church rediscovers nonviolence
Sister Teresia Wamuyu Wachira, a Kenyan member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) and co-president of Pax Christi International, explained the scope of the initiative: “In a world facing the dehumanizing terror of violence and injustice, the Catholic Church is increasingly re-discovering the power of nonviolence”.
The initiative, Sister Wachira said, includes a series of roundtables in different continents that “will highlight ways in which the Church and particular individuals and communities are challenging this violence in their local contexts with the strategies, spirituality, way of life, and wisdom tradition of Jesus’ nonviolence”.
“Third world war fought piecemeal”
This global conversation will explore how the Church could more deeply foster nonviolent lives and a more nonviolent world, in support of the Synod on Synodality and the journey toward the Jubilee Year in 2025.
The co-president of Pax Christi International, Bishop Marc Stenger, explained: “By denouncing violence in its many forms, Pope Francis has shed light on nonviolent pathways to a more just and peaceful future. In what he has called the ‘third world war fought piecemeal,’ a worldwide culture of violence is unleashing massive suffering in the lives of billions of people.”
Cardinal Robert McElroy, Bishop of San Diego, underlines: “The roundtables which the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is sponsoring on alternatives for peace at the peripheries constitutes a vital step in moving the theology of nonviolence to the center of Catholic teaching on war and peace. They will point to realistic avenues for replacing a mindset all too open to war with a mindset that consistently seeks peace first and robustly. It is precisely in the union of prophetic witness to peace with realistic alternative options that CNI is finding concrete ways to build a more peaceful and just world.”
Roundtables to launch a global conversation
Roundtables will include grassroots change-agents with nonviolence experience, youth, hierarchy and other leadership in the local Catholic Church and Pax Christi International/CNI representatives. Latin America-Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Migration / Immigration and Laudato Si’ / Climate Justice will be the main topics of the events discussions.
The second webinar about Asia-Pacific will be held in English on September 11th at 9 am Barcelona / 4 pm Tokyo / 3 pm Manila, and those who want to participate must register here.
The dates of the round tables and their participants can be seen on this link.
They will be available on the Pax Christi International YouTube channel after the event.
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About Pax Christi International
Pax Christi International is a Catholic nonviolent movement with 120 member organizations worldwide that promotes peace, respect of human rights, justice and reconciliation throughout the world. Grounded in the belief that peace is possible and that vicious cycles of violence and injustice can be broken, Pax Christi International addresses the root causes and destructive consequences of violent conflict and war. More information: https://paxchristi.net
About Catholic Nonviolence Initiative
The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, affirms the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church, and is committed to the long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet. More information: https://nonviolencejustpeace.net
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