Affirmations for Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace

Origami paper crane in rainy day

Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Church and the World is the culmination of a three-year global conversation among church leaders, community organizers, activists, social scientists and theologians about how the Catholic Church might return to its Gospel nonviolence roots and transform the world.

The book shares the experiences of on-the-ground nonviolent interventions, explores the scriptural, theological and historical foundations of nonviolence, reviews the most current social science on how nonviolence has been effectively employed, and outlines a vision for how the Church might embrace active nonviolence into every aspect of its life.

We are honored to have affirmations from theologians, Church leaders and peace practitioners:

We have seen so many sad examples recently of how hurt our planet and humanity are through the interconnected, complex and multiple crises caused by our systemic violence. In reading Advancing Nonviolence, I was moved by the gift we have been given through the gospel, tradition, and teachings of peace and nonviolence. As Catholics, we must not be afraid to take a more courageous stand for justice and dignity, name and transform the violence which permeates our way of life built on exploitation, racism, sexism, and ecological destruction.
There is so much more to learn about our own power to be vessels of peace and the special role women have played and continue to play in this transformative process.
I am grateful for this initiative and excited and inspired to be a part of it.

Josianne Gauthier
Secretary General
(Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité,
International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity)

The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, on behalf of Pax Christi International, has now put together a significant, integral argument for advancing nonviolence globally. While discussions on just war have had such texts for centuries, it is hard to say that the movement for Catholics supporting nonviolence have had such a foundational text of compelling resources until now. Here is their 95 theses, here is their Magna Carta. This work comes from a stunningly global team of 119 collaborating contributors, including major theologians and other religious and lay leaders. But it is not only a milestone; it is a text that pivots the discussion of nonviolence as indisputably Catholic and, as they rightly claim, normative. The agenda is advanced notably theologically, pastorally and strategically by this important work.

James F. Keenan, S.J.
Canisius Professor
Boston College

Events of 2020 have proven the need to move away from a Just War approach to implementing Just Peace. Along with providing philosophical and theological foundations for this shift, Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Church and the World, provides practical examples of this transition like unarmed civilian protection. Active, compassionate and cooperative nonviolence is essential for our future survival. This book helps chart that path.

Tiffany Easthom
Executive Director
Nonviolent Peaceforce

This foundational book calls the Catholic community to bring nonviolence into the very center of the Church’s thinking on conflict resolution and the issues of war and peace. Its complementary blend of theological insight, moral breadth and hardcore realism about the actual practice of nonviolence point toward a genuine culture of peace for our tormented world.

Bishop Robert McElroy
San Diego, California

Words like “extraordinary,” “ground-breaking,” “a major contribution,” do not come close to the meaning of this book. It is simply a watershed moment in the 2,000 year history of the Church. An unprecedented collaboration that involved 120 leading theologians and scholars on Gospel nonviolence from around the globe following upon Pope Francis’ historic call to pursue Jesus’ way of nonviolence, this magisterial volume is a first in church history and marks a new paradigm shift. With this book, and its unique, global, truly “catholic” perspective, we have more than a compendium of every aspect of Gospel nonviolence: we have a blueprint for a new church of peace and nonviolence and a universal vision for a new culture of peace and nonviolence. A book to be studied and taught in churches, universities, seminaries and theology schools for decades to come, and shared with bishops and priests everywhere. May it hasten a new Pentecost of peace and nonviolence!

Rev. John Dear
Author of The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence;
The Beatitudes of Peace; and The Nonviolent Life.
Campaign Nonviolence/Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service

We have at our collective disposal a powerful antidote to the violence and violation pervasive in our world. It is the practice of nonviolence toward peace that is rooted in justice. Pax Christi International has provided the blueprint for a sustainable culture of peace by curating the wisdom of global thought leaders in this powerfully compelling and urgently needed explication.

Kerry Alys Robinson
Global Ambassador, Leadership Roundtable

I am deeply grateful and hopeful for the Catholic nonviolence initiative now emerging, especially from the global South, with the warm and strong support of the Vatican under Pope Francis. This international popular process is rising from grassroots nonviolence practitioners who are demanding fresh teaching on issues of war and peace and Gospel nonviolence.

Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace builds on the wisdom of popular nonviolent freedom movements  around the world, further develops the principles of “just peace” rooted in Protestant and Anabaptist traditions, and focuses always on the Prince of Peace, our foundation and our hope. Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace lays the perfect groundwork for Pope Francis’ next encyclical.

Jim Wallis
Founder and Ambassador of Sojourners, author of Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus