In a world reeling from violence, the leaders of the four Congregations of Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests have 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.
The statement calls the four Holy Cross congregations to collaboratively take specific actions to reject violence in its multiple forms, including violent responses to conflict, particularly war and terrorism; denial of human and civil rights; economic and military policies that exacerbate poverty and inequality; degradation of natural resources and ecosystems; and violent and disrespectful political discourse.
According to the statement, Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests will collaborate in support of actions and policies that: promote nonviolent means of conflict resolution; disallow discrimination; generate an equitable economic system for all; foster a culture of global solidarity and Just Peace*; and Protect Earth and Life in all its diversity.
The signing of the statement took place during a prayer service held as part of a meeting of the four general councils of Holy Cross, hosted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, October 2-4. The four congregations are the Marianites of Holy Cross, Covington, Louisiana, USA; the Congregation of Holy Cross (priests and brothers), Rome, Italy; the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Cross, Montréal, Québec, Canada; and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
The statement was developed by the Holy Cross International Justice Office (HCIJO), which animates and unites the social justice work of the four congregations, which serve impoverished and vulnerable people in 20 countries on five continents. By providing educational resources and action opportunities, the HCIJO works to develop a well-informed, unified, public Holy Cross voice able to impact critical justice issues of the times.
According to HCIJO director Sister Mary Turgi, CSC, “This joint commitment of the Holy Cross congregations to nonviolence and Just Peace could not be more timely as we daily confront the rampant violence of our global realities. At this moment in human history, it is imperative that all of us, at all levels of society, heed the call of Pope Francis to reject violence and pursue the path of peace, now and into the future.”
*In support of “Just Peace” based on Gospel nonviolence
The Holy Cross International Justice Office endorses The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and the 2016 Nonviolence and Just Peace statement An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-commit to the centrality of Gospel Nonviolence, which rejects “just war” language in Catholic teaching and proposes “that the Catholic Church develop and consider shifting to a Just Peace approach based on Gospel non-violence.”