As President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong‐Un face each other off in a global game of deadly brinkmanship, Pope Francis continues to promote Gospel nonviolence as the response.
On 1 January this year, Pope Francis launched his message: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace,” written for the 50th Anniversary of the World Day of Peace.
Pope Francis urges that to be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing the Gospel’s teaching about nonviolence. For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.
In “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace”, Pope Francis reiterates what he has said before, that we are engaged in a “horrifying world war fought, piecemeal” and then states that violence is not the cure, it only leads to more violence. He prays that charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society. He goes on to say that when victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking.
Peace starts within the self and is practised initially within families where skills of nonviolence are learned. Peace building is needed within, and across, all levels of the Church’s endeavours.
On the United Nations International Day of Peace with its theme of Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All, it is a good time to read, reflect and act on Pope Francis’ Message of 1 January, 2017.
Network of Australians supporting the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative: Affirming the Vision and Practice of Nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church. https://nonviolencejustpeace.net/ Anne Lanyon, Brendan McKeague, Ruth Crowe, Peter Arndt, Gill Burrows.
Columban Mission Institute
Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice,