The Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome in
April 2016 brought together 83 Catholic peacemakers to discuss their efforts to
promote nonviolence in the countries where they serve. They concluded the
conference by issuing an appeal to the Catholic Church to become a "living
witness of the nonviolence teachings of Jesus. They urged the Church to move
away from the "just war theory promulgated by Saint Augustine in the fourth
century and instead develop a "just peace approach.
Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is the appeal to the Catholic
Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence.
Individuals and organizations are invited to
endorse the statement that can be found on THIS PAGE. Nearly 1,800 individuals and
organizations have endorsed as of December 12,2016.
PRINCIPLES OF ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE
Principle of active nonviolence: Everyone has part of the truth. Each person needs to speak her/his truth and listen to the others truth in order for us to come to a greater truth. Openness to the truth in others is essential to active nonviolence. It creates a climate of trust.
Any time we honestly speak our truth as we understand it, we are in communion with Jesus the Christ who is the Truth. When we listen to the truth of another, we are listening for the Spirit of truth in the other.
Teaching of Jesus: In John Jesus tells us, "I am the way and the truth and the life. (Jn 14: 6) Also in John Jesus tells us, "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. (Jn 18:37)
Principle of active nonviolence: We have no enemies. We only have opponents, that is, people who have opposing ideas, values, views
from ours. The antidote to violence is conversation with our opponents. We have conversations with our opponents in order to understand them and what they believe, not to convince them to think and act as we think and act. We have the conversation out of respect for one another. When we love and respect our enemy, he/she is no longer our enemy. Our heart is changed, our relationship is changed. We are in communion with the other.
Teaching of Jesus: In Matthew Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:43-48). In John, "This is my commandment: Love one another as I love you. (Jn 15: 12) From the cross Jesus prays for those responsible for his death, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. (Luke 23: 34)
Principle of active nonviolence: Our energy needs to be focused on issues or systems not toward persons. Put no energy into judging, criticizing and blaming others or in complaining. Identify the real issue or system and use energy to address it. Judging, complaining and criticizing waste energy on our part and fill the space around us with negative energy which can prevent communion with the other.
Teaching of Jesus: In Matthew Jesus says, "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brothers eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? (Mt 7: 1-3)
Principle of active nonviolence: We are brother and sister to all people no matter how different we may be in religion, race, nationality, social status, intellectual abilities, and world view
We are all one.
Francis believed and preached that we are brother and sister to all creation, Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Teaching of Jesus: Amen,Isay to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did to me. (Mt. 25:60)
Principle of active nonviolence: Acting out of truth, love, and justice frees and engages a force that is greater than any other force.
Teaching of Jesus: In John Jesus says, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Prepared by Charism Working Team: We will work toward shifting our focus from Sisters of St Francis/Clinton Franciscans Family to our Franciscan Charism (Mission). (Chapter 2012)