In his 2017 World Day of Peace Message, Pope Francis urged all of us to pray and work diligently to become nonviolent people and build nonviolent communities - artisans of peace. In October 2017, the leaders of the four Congregations of Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests, having reflected on Pope Francis's call and the signs of the times, issued a joint Statement on Nonviolence and Just Peace, declaring that “Jesus taught us to respond to violence with love and forgiveness” and committing to abide by his words and example.
Nonviolence and peace remains the current justice focus for the Holy Cross International Justice Office, which prioritizes:
- fostering a deep understanding of the rampant violence we currently experience,
- creating a culture of nonviolence within ourselves, our local communities and our societies, and
- fashioning a “just peace” in global society.
To do this, HCIJO explores both violence and nonviolence from the “integral” perspective promoted by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. In that document, Pope Francis maintains that today’s complex problems can be only be understood and solved by probing and integrating the social, economic, cultural, and environmental dynamics and relationships that create, sustain, and impact the problems.
While that may sound overwhelming, looking at problems, issues, and solutions through these four lenses is actually a simple and fruitful methodology for deepening understanding among yourselves and those with whom you minister. We very much look forward to working with you to internalize this practice and make use of it to foster nonviolence and just peace.