Catholic Nonviolence Initiative updates February 2017

Thank you for your endorsement of the Appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence. We deeply appreciate your support.


This weekend (25 February) is the anniversary of the 1986 People’s Power Revolution in the Philippines, a significant example of the role of the church in nonviolent resistance to a corrupt and repressive regime. That revolutionary victory is to be celebrated, but as we know, much pain and violence continues in the Philippines and in too many places around the world, so our work for a nonviolent future and a just peace goes on.


Next steps for CNI
The primary goal of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI) is a renewed commitment to Gospel nonviolence at the heart of the Church, which necessitates a shift in Catholic social teaching. CNI is pursuing a comprehensive strategy toward this goal by forming four roundtables and three working groups whose members, over the course of the next 2-3 years, will research, gather, and elaborate on theological, scriptural, ecclesial and practical material.

These roundtables and working groups will be international in scope, considering the vast amount of experience and understanding of the church throughout the world. Participants will deepen the exploration of their topics and creatively collaborate in outlining and developing content which, we hope, will lead to a new and more comprehensive understanding of nonviolence in the Catholic tradition.

Upcoming events and more
Week of February 27: Pax Christi UK will hold the first meeting of a Theology of Nonviolence working group to start looking at ways to “seed” this work within the church/institutions in England and Wales.

Lent starts on March 1: The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has prepared a Lenten guide, A journey with Gospel nonviolence, available here.

March 2: In partnership with the Holy See Mission, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and Pax Christi International will host a panel on the World Day of Peace (WDP) message at the UN in New York City. Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio to the UN, will moderate and reflect on the WDP. Speakers include Francisco de Roux, SJ, Marie Dennis, Gerry Lee, Maryann Cusimano Love from Catholic University, and Rima Salah, former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.

March 8: Marie Dennis will present the award at the annual Voices of Faith event at the Vatican. This yearly program honors the contribution and leadership of women in the church; the theme for 2017 is women peacemakers. Learn more and find out how to join the event via livestream at the Voices of Faith website.

March 17-19: Peace requires encounter: A two-day summit on building relationships This event, which aims to build and strengthen relationships between Muslims and Christians in the U.S., will be held at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) It will include a screening of the new docudrama film The Sultan and the Saint, inspired by the courage and peace-building efforts of St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al Kamil during the height of the Crusades’ deadly conflict.

March 18: Josef Mayr-Nusser (1910-1945), recognized by Pope Francis as a martyr for his Christian faith and conscience, will be beatified in Bolzano, Italy. Like the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who was beatified in 2007, Mayr-Nusser was sentenced to death as a consequence of his refusal to swear loyalty to Hitler when he was forcibly conscripted into the German army; he died en route to the Dachau concentration camp where he was to be executed for treason.

April 7: Marquette University Center for Peacemaking (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) will host the university’s first symposium on nonviolent peacemaking. Speakers include Terry Rynne, Ken Butigan, Maria Stephan and Mel Duncan.

Workshop/retreat on Gospel nonviolence:Laurie Gagne and John Reuwer have prepared a six-hour workshop/retreat program,Nonviolence: Power for justice and peace, on the tenets of Gospel nonviolence and the 2017 World Day of Peace message. Find out more on the CNI website.



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