Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Affirming the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church. A project of Pax Christi International.

Resources

The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and our partners regularly introduce new tools and resources. These promote and advance understandings of active nonviolence and just peace. Many are designed for use in parishes and classrooms. This page is updated regularly, so please check back often. You may also be interested in visiting our “Listen and Watch” page, our “Library“, and discovering more organisations committed to nonviolence on our “Useful Links” page.

Statements and messages
Theological reflections and prayers
Research on nonviolence
For educators and parents
Primers and background information
Tools and study guides
Additional languages

Statements and messages

The Appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to Gospel nonviolence was released at the end of the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome, April 2016. We encourage you and your organisation to become a signatory. The appeal is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish.

Call to the international community to support policies that promote nonviolent approaches to sustaining peace. Pax Christi International. May 2018. This statement is also available in French and Spanish.

Statement from the workshop “Path of nonviolence: Towards a culture of peace”: This statement is also available in French and Spanish.

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Theological reflections and prayers

The Beatitudes of Peace, by Fr. John Dear (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015)

Becoming nonviolent peacemakers, by Eli McCarthy

Choose just peace framework to respond to conflict with Iran, by CNI steering committee member Eli McCarthy.

Pax Christi UK study guide to accompany Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church returns to Gospel Nonviolence, a compilation of essays on nonviolence and just peace and other documents in support of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. The study guide is available for free download from the Pax Christi UK website.

Commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence. Prayer service by Sr. Cathy Arata, SSND, who attended the Nonviolence & Just Peace conference held in Rome in April 2016.

Done with violence?, by Ken Butigan, a member of the CNI executive committee, and posted by Campaign Nonviolence (a project of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service).

The Faithful Nonviolence of Jesus, Sr. Nancy Shreck, OSF, reprinted from From Violence to Wholeness: A Ten-Part Process in the Spirituality and Practice of Active Nonviolence, Ken Butigan with Patricia Bruno (Pace e Bene Press, 1999).

Jesus Christ peacemaker: A new theology of peace, by Terrence Rynne

Living a Nonviolent Life, a reflection booklet from the Marianites of the Holy Cross

Lenten reflection guide 2018: Embracing Jesus’ practice of nonviolence, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Love your enemies: Discipleship pacifism, by Lisa Sowle Cahill

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis to Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson on the Occasion of the Conference on “Nonviolence and Just Peace”. This message is also available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

No longer legitimating war: Christians and just peace, by Rose Marie Berger

Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace, the 2017 World Day of Peace message. Our page includes actions and prayers, discussion guide, commentaries from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative network, and other resources to help you dive deeper.

The Nonviolent Life, by Fr. John Dear (Pace e Bene Press, 2013)

The nonviolent resistance of Jesus/La résistance nonviolente de Jésus by Jean Marie Muller

Observe a Year of Peace and Nonviolence, Sisters of St. Joseph

Material from the “Path of nonviolence towards a culture of peace” workshop. April 2019. Includes background papers, theological reflections, photos and a statement from participants.

Post Easter reflections, from Pax Christi UK. To deepen our understanding of Gospel nonviolence, Pax Christi UK invited seven of its members to explore the powerful readings for the Sundays after Easter. Their reflections are short and personal and each of them has something to offer on the vocation we all have to be people of nonviolence.

Prayers and practices of nonviolence: Peace Sunday packet 2011, Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Rapinoe and Rackete: Two captains of civil disobedience to inhuman orders, by Pietro Ameglio (Mexico), posted in English on Rose Marie Berger’s blog, and in its original Spanish here.

Resources for Peace Sunday 2018, based on the World Day of Peace message, offered by Pax Christi UK

Special issue: The Future of Nonviolence in Catholic Social Teaching, the Expositions newsletter from Villanova University, Vol. 13, No. 2

From Violence to Wholeness: A 10-part process in the spirituality and practice of active nonviolence, Ken Butigan with Patricia Bruno (Pace e Bene Press, 1996)

Walking the Way: Following Jesus on the Lenten Journey of Gospel Nonviolence to the Cross and Resurrection, by Fr. John Dear (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015)

Webinars: Throughout the fall of 2016 the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative organised a series of webinars introducing the work and mission of the CNI and the groundbreaking Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference. Each webinar has a post, with background information, slides, and a recording of the webinar itself.

We must do no less. Contribution of Bishop Robert W. McElroy to the Conference on Perspectives for a world free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament. November 2017.

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Research on nonviolence

Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church returns to Gospel Nonviolence, edited by Marie Dennis, is available from Orbis Books.

Education and training in nonviolent resistance, by Nadine Bloch, U.S. Institute of Peace

The faithful nonviolence of Jesus, Sr. Nancy Shreck, OSF, reprinted from From Violence to Wholeness: A Ten-Part Process in the Spirituality and Practice of Active Nonviolence, Ken Butigan with Patricia Bruno (Pace e Bene Press, 1999).

If Jesus Is Lord: Loving Enemies in an Age of Violence, by book by Ronald J. Sider

Just Peace Ethic panel: “A Manual for Escaping our Vicious Cycles” by Gerald Schlabach, “The Changing Vision of Just Peace in Catholic Social Teaching” by Lisa Cahill, and “A Virtue-Based Just Peace Ethic” by Eli McCarthy; in Journal of Moral Theology, p. 86-108.

The Nonviolent Life, by Fr. John Dear (Pace e Bene Press, 2013)

Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) Data Project, Josef Korbel School of International Policy, University of Denver

Material from the “Path of nonviolence towards a culture of peace” workshop. April 2019. Includes background papers, theological reflections, photos and a statement from participants.

Peaceful societies: Alternatives to violence and war, hosted by the Department of Anthropology of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

A Pilgrim People: Becoming a Catholic peace church, book by Catholic Nonviolence Initiative participant Gerald Schlabach

Swathmore Global Nonviolent Action database (can search by religious activity)

Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping Database, Selkirk College

The university’s responsibility for peace and nonviolence by Ken Butigan, a member of the CNI executive committee and faculty member at DePaul University.

Violence and Nonviolence in Scripture: Helping Children Understand Challenging Stories, book by Catherine Maresca

Webinars: Throughout the fall of 2016 the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative organised a series of webinars introducing the work and mission of the CNI and the groundbreaking Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference. Each webinar has a post, with background information, slides, and a recording of the webinar itself.

Why civil resistance works: The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict, by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan

Wielding nonviolence in the midst of conflict, by Ellen Furnari (editor)

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For educators and parents

For the complete CNI collection of resources for educators and parents, please see our Peace education and parenting page.

The Beatitudes of Peace, by Fr. John Dear (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015)

Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church returns to Gospel Nonviolence, edited by Marie Dennis, is available from Orbis Books.

Pax Christi UK study guide to accompany Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church returns to Gospel Nonviolence, a compilation of essays on nonviolence and just peace and other documents in support of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. The study guide is available for free download from the Pax Christi UK website.

Engage: Exploring nonviolent living, Laura Slattery, Ken Butigan, Veronica Pelicaric, Ken Preston (Pace e Bene Press, 2005)

The Faithful Nonviolence of Jesus, Sr. Nancy Shreck, OSF, reprinted from From Violence to Wholeness: A Ten-Part Process in the Spirituality and Practice of Active Nonviolence, Ken Butigan with Patricia Bruno (Pace e Bene Press, 1999).

If Jesus Is Lord: Loving Enemies in an Age of Violence, by book by Ronald J. Sider

Just Peace Ethic. A short introduction and framework, including study or discussion questions. Prepared by Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. Georgetown University, USA.

Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace, the 2017 World Day of Peace message. Our page includes actions and prayers, discussion guide, commentaries from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative network, and other resources to help you dive deeper.

Nonviolence Works! 60 nonviolent victories of the past century, a 12-page PDF published in 2010 by the British sections of Pax Christi, Baptist Peace Fellowship and Fellowship of Reconciliation

The Nonviolent Life, by Fr. John Dear (Pace e Bene Press, 2013)

A Pilgrim People: Becoming a Catholic peace church, book by Catholic Nonviolence Initiative participant Gerald Schlabach

Violence and Nonviolence in Scripture: Helping Children Understand Challenging Stories, book by Catherine Maresca

From Violence to Wholeness: A 10-part process in the spirituality and practice of active nonviolence, Ken Butigan with Patricia Bruno (Pace e Bene Press, 1996)

Walking the Way: Following Jesus on the Lenten Journey of Gospel Nonviolence to the Cross and Resurrection, by Fr. John Dear (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015)

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Primers and background information

Frequently asked questions

We have developed a number of primers to help you understand active nonviolence and just peace is all about.

What is active nonviolence?
What is trauma healing?
What is restorative justice?
What is unarmed civilian protection?
What is nonviolent resistance?
What is a just peace approach?
Nonviolence and civil resistance, by Pietro Ameglio, SERPAJ Mexico (Also available in Spanish)

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Tools and study guides

An action guide for individuals and groups to implement the goals of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Pax Christi UK study guide to accompany Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church returns to Gospel Nonviolence, a compilation of essays on nonviolence and just peace and other documents in support of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. The study guide is available for free download from the Pax Christi UK website.

Community Tool Box – Chapter 28. Spirituality and community building, Section 5: Promoting peace, written by Terry Greene, a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Cultivating nonviolence, harvesting peace, an 8-week JustFaith Ministries program focusing on nonviolence from a Christian perspective

Engaging nonviolence: Activating nonviolent change in our lives and our world, a 15-part workbook for learning, practicing, and experimenting with the power of creative nonviolence for personal and social transformation. It is available from Pace e Bene.

Just Peace Ethic. A short introduction and framework, prepared by Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. Georgetown University, USA.

Nonviolence and Just Peace: Template for small group reflection. PDF (English, US sized paper), PDF (English, A4 paper). This resource is also available in French, Spanish, and Italian.

Nonviolence: Power for justice and peace, a six hour workshop/retreat offered by Laurie Gagne, Ph.D. and John Reuwer, MD (updated)

Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace, the 2017 World Day of Peace message. Our page includes actions and prayers, discussion guide, commentaries from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative network, and other resources to help you dive deeper.

A parish guide to Gospel nonviolence by the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Reflections gathered during the workshop on Path of Nonviolence: Towards a Culture of Peace. Pax Christi International: Reflections gathered during the workshop on Path of Nonviolence. April 2019, Rome. This statement is also available in French and Spanish.

SNAP: Synergizing nonviolent action and peacemaking, a guide for trainers, facilitators, and other practitioners serving the organizers, activists, mediators, negotiators, and peacebuilders who want to learn more about how to integrate nonviolent action and peacebuilding strategies in their work. From the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Webinars: Throughout the fall of 2016 the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative organised a series of webinars introducing the work and mission of the CNI and the groundbreaking Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference. Each webinar has a post, with background information, slides, and a recording of the webinar itself.

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Additional languages

Français (French)

Un appel à l’Eglise catholique à se réengager à la centralité de la non-violence évangélique, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Appel à la communauté internationale pour soutenir les politiques qui promeuvent des approches non-violentes pour maintenir la paix. Position de Pax Christi International, 28 Mai 2018.

Appelle à faire « de la non-violence active notre style de vie ».  Le pape appelle à la non-violence en 2017 : message pour la Journée Mondiale de la Paix.

La Journée Mondiale de la Paix 2017 ressource, deux pages

Le pape François fait l’éloge de la non-violence à l’occasion de la 50ème journée mondiale de la paix, par Alain Refalo

Message Du Pape François Au Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson a L’occasion De La Conférence “Nonviolence And Just Peace : Contributing To The Catholic Understanding Of And Commitment To Nonviolence. Rome, avril 2016.

Nonviolence et paix juste: Guide à destination d’un petit groupe de réflexion par Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Presentation de Françoise Keller. Path of nonviolence towards a culture of peace. Workshop, April 2019.

Promouvoir la non-violence, par Jean-Marie Muller

Quand Jésus libère les animaux du Temple par Jean-Marie Muller. Ces essais – le premier sur la conduite des changeurs d’argent du Temple, le deuxième sur le refus de Jésus de condamner la femme prise en adultère – ont été écrits par Jean-Marie Muller, un philosophe et écrivain français qui était l’un des participants à la conférence de nonviolence et paix de avril 2016 à Rome.

Qu’est-ce qu’une éthique de la paix juste? A short introduction and framework, prepared by Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. Georgetown University, USA.

Réflexions recueillies au cours de la rencontre : « Chemin de la nonviolence : vers une culture de paix ». Pax Christi International / Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. 4-5 avril 2019 à Rome.

Español (Spanish)

Reflexiones compiladas durante el seminario sobre: El Camino de la Noviolencia: Hacia una Cultura de la Paz. Pax Christi International/Iniciativa Católicia de la Noviolencia. 4-5 de abril, 2019, Roma.

Rapinoe y Rackete: dos capitanas de la desobediencia debida a órdenes inhumanas por Pietro Ameglio (México)

¿Qué es una ética de paz justa? A short introduction and framework, including study or discussion questions. Prepared by Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. Georgetown University, USA.

La no violencia y la paz justa: Modelo para las reflexiones en pequeños grupos por Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

La noviolencia y la resistencia civil, por Pietro Ameglio, SERPAJ Mexico

Un llamado a la Iglesia Católica a comprometerse de nuevo con la noviolencia que es central en el Evangelio

Llamamiento a la Comunidad Internacional para Respaldar Políticas Que Promuevan Enfoques No-violentos para la Paz Sostenible. Documento de Posición de Pax Christi International, 28 Mayo 2018.

Mensaje del santo Padre Francisco al cardenal Peter K.A. Turkson con ocasión de la conferencia sobre el tema “la no violencia y la paz justa: contribuir a la comprensión católica y el compromiso con la no violencia”. Roma, 11-13 de abril de 2016.

Nos invita a “hacer de la noviolencia activa nuestro camino de vida”. El Papa llama a la noviolencia en el mensaje de la Jornada Mundial de la Paz 2017.

El Día Mundial de la Paz 2017 recurso, dos páginas

La no violencia y la paz justa: Modelo para las reflexiones en pequeños grupos, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.

Deutsch (German)

Aufruf an die katholische Kirche zur Neuverpflichtung auf die zentrale Botschaft des Evangeliums über Gewaltfreiheit

Gewaltlosigkeit: Stil einer Politik für den Frieden: Aufruf zum Weltfriedenstag 2017 (Herunterladen und verbreiten)

Italiano (Italian)

Appello alla Chiesa Cattolica al fine di promuovere la centralità della nonviolenza evangelica

Messaggio del Santo Padre Francesco al Cardinale Peter K.A. Turkson in occasione della conferenza “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic understanding of and commitment to nonviolence”. Roma, 11-13 aprile 2016.

Nonviolenza e pace giusta: Modello per la riflessione in gruppi piccoli, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.

Português (Portuguese)

Um apelo à Igreja Católica a comprometer-se de novo com a centralidade da não-violência evangélica, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.

Mensagem do Papa Francisco ao Cardeal Peter K. A. Turkson por ocasião da conferência: “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic understanding of and commitment to nonviolence”. Roma, 11-13 de abril de 2016.

Não violência ativa e criativa caminho para construir a paz. Pax Christi Portugal.

Nederlands (Dutch)

Oproep van de internationale vredesbeweging aan de kerk: Zet de evangelische geweldloosheid centraal

Polski (Polish)

Niestosowanie przemocy (nonviolence) i sprawiedliwy pokój: wkład do katolickiego rozumienia i zaangażowania w nonviolence. Rzym, 11-13 kwietnia 2016.

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