News Archives » Peace
10th Anniversary of Archbishop Denis Hurley Noted in South Africa January 22nd, 2014
The 10th Anniversary of the death of Archbishop Denis Hurley will be marked by a series of events focused on peacemaking and reconciliation arranged by organizations closely linked with the Archbishop. Learn more here…
The Denis Hurley Centre, currently under construction next to Emmanuel Cathedral in Durban, has been designed as a multi-purpose community facility to promote “extensive outreach and training for the homeless, unemployed and refugees…” It will also “provide primary health care, as well as community building programmes in one of the most diverse and challenging neighborhoods of downtown Durban.” Learn more about the center at: www.denishurleycentre.org
VIVAT International Newsletter Available January 6th, 2014
- World Food Day
- 2014 Year of Family Farming
- Land Grabbing and Mining
- Executives at the Vatican
- Voices in Brazil
- Right to Water
- Typhoon Haiyan
- Rights of Dalits
- VIVAT Workshop West Africa
- Longing for Peace
Peace & Life Connections: December 2013 December 17th, 2013
Quotations of the Season
When, therefore, one wishes “A Happy Christmas” without the meaning behind it, it becomes nothing more than an empty formula. And unless one wishes for peace for all life, one cannot wish for peace for oneself. – Mohandas Gandhi
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You cannot seriously call yourself a follower of the nonviolent, peacemaking Jesus, whom we celebrate and honor at Christmas, if you own guns, support our wars, defend our nuclear weapons arsenal, tolerate executions and catastrophic climate change, and participate in violence in any form. Anyone who supports warfare, weapons or killing, even if they be a priest, minister or bishop, goes against the nonviolent Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a practitioner of creative nonviolence. To follow the peacemaking Jesus means becoming a peacemaker. – John Dear
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Therefore, welcoming the child . . . means welcoming the poor and destitute, the stranger and the alienated, the disabled and the unborn. Christmas is universal, and is about the exaltation of the human person. We welcome all he welcomes, and are to make room for all he loves, especially the most unwanted, marginalized, burdensome, or inconvenient. If we welcome the baby Jesus, we welcome every baby and we welcome his teaching that every life is sacred, and we live accordingly. – Fr. Frank Pavone
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On Christmas Eve, Dorothy Day returned to the Women’s House of Detention where she had spent almost a month this summer. With her were fellow members of the Catholic Worker Movement, pacifists, individualists — several of whom had also gone to jail for refusing, because of their convictions, to take shelter during an air-raid drill. They had come to Village Square to sing carols to the women inside. They stood in the freezing street opposite the towering building, and sang . . . We sang ourselves to tears to a bunch of tough girls we would never see.
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From reader Sue Hayes: “There’s a story . . . that Dorothy, in her seventies, was arrested after a peace protest and they put her in a holding cell. After a bit, they opened the door and shoved in a young woman who was a prostitute and drunk. She cried and swore and said vile things to Dorothy and then fell on the floor at Dorothy’s feet and threw up all over Dorothy’s feet and legs…without a second’s hesitation, Dorothy sank down on the floor and took the young woman’s head gently into her lap and just held her, as a mother would hold her child. . . . It was LOVE which Dorothy clung to and was not afraid to offer to ANYONE, a love so God-partaking in its authority, so steely determined in delivery that “even the gates of Hell could not prevail against it!”
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Past Holiday Editions
In 2010, we showed “It’s a Wonderful Movement” by using the theme of what would happen if the peace movement and the pro-life movement hadn’t arisen. We also had quotes from Scrooge against respect for life and a Martin Luther King Christmas sermon for it.
In 2011, we covered the materialism-reducing “Advent Conspiracy” and offered two pieces of children’s literature: a 1938 anti-war cartoon called “Peace on Earth,” and the anti-war origins of “Horton Hears a Who,” whose tagline – “a person’s a person, no matter how small” – is irresistible to pro-lifers.
In 2012, we had a couple of quotes showing the pro-life aspects of two prominent Christmas tales: A Christmas Carol with Ebenezer Scrooge, and the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. We also quote from John Dear about Jesus as peacemaker (as above) and Rand Paul about the 1914 spontaneous Christmas Truce; he then related it to the culture of life.
US Judge Acquits Catholic Anti-drone Activists November 1st, 2013
In an historic decision, five Catholic Worker activists were acquitted of disorderly conduct charges for blocking the main entrance to Hancock Air Base outside of Syracuse NY, in a protest against drone strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians. Hancock Air base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard, is a Reaper drone hub whose technicians pilot weaponized drones over Afghanistan.
As reported in The Nuclear Resister, “After the verdict was announced, the D.A. objected, and the judge said to him that he hadn’t found ‘mens rea,’ Latin for ‘guilty mind.’ The five defendants, with powerful eloquence, convinced the judge that their intent was to uphold, not break, the law. This acquittal marks a major breakthrough by those who have sought to strengthen international law, and stop U.S. war crimes, including extra-judicial murder by the illegal drones.”
The drone strikes, responsible for killing hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, have increasingly been condemned by human rights advocates, as well as by Jesuit Superior General Fr. Adolfo Nicolás and Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism. Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban and survived, and who now speaks out globally for peace, urged President Obama in a meeting to stop the deadly U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan. She said they are killing innocent civilians and turning many ordinary people against the U.S. and onto the side of Taliban.
Recent Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reportshave detailed how U.S. drone strikes kill innocent civilians in Pakistan and Yemen, contrary to President Obama’s assertions. According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as many as 1,000 innocent civilians, including as many as 200 children, have been killed in as many as 376 U.S. drone strikes since 2004 in Pakistan alone, a nation with which the United States is not technically at war.
UN Days in October October 1st, 2013
- October 2, 2013: International Day of Non-Violence is held on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.” Available: In English; in Spanish; In French.
- October 11, 2013: Day of the Girl Child: Innovating for Girls’ Education: The fulfillment of girls’ “right to education” is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. Girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, has been proven to be a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves. Click here; in Spanish; in French. Read about the Techno Girl program in South Africa, here. Join in the Day of the Girl Summit here.
- October 16, 2013: World Food Day: Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition: Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems helps increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger. Available: In English; In Spanish; In French; In Italian.
- October 17, 2013: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is intended to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the U.N. development agenda. Available: In English; In Spanish; In French.
- October 20, 2013: World Mission Sunday.
- October 20-24, 2013: CONGO Week will be celebrated all around the world in an effort to bring attention to the ongoing violence in DR-Congo. Visit here.
‘Ten days for Peace’ – August 6 – 15, 2013 August 11th, 2013
We would like to share the following, which was sent to the US JPIC Office by Fr. Bradly Rozairo, OMI:
Inspired by the peace message delivered by Blessed John Paul II in Hiroshima in 1981, the Church in Japan has designated 10 days between Hiroshima memorial day (Aug. 6) to the memorial day of the end of WWII which is 15th August as a special period of prayer for peace. This period also includes the memorial day of Nagasaki (Aug. 9).
‘Ten days for Peace’ gives an opportunity to Christians to organize various peace programs. People from different parts of Japan and also from abroad come together not only to remember and pray for the war dead, but also to listen to the war experiences of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This week I was in Hiroshima to attend some of the peace events. At the Peace Memorial Church in Hiroshima, a well organized Mass for Peace, was celebrated by Bishop Maeda of Hiroshima. The distinguished guests were the Nuncio of Japan Archbishop Joseph Chennoth and Cardinal Turkson who heads the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace. The Eucharistic celebration was well attended by the Bishops, priests, nuns, Catholics and Christians of different denominations.
At the Peace Memorial Park, it was interesting to talk and listen to some children and adults, who braved the heat to sing, talk, dance and pray for peace. Just to be in the crowd and allow oneself to be bathed in that whole atmosphere in itself is an experience. The smell of incense, the sound of the gong and the offering of flowers make you think of the unforgettable past, remembered here the present while praying for a better future.