Dear Pax Christi USA members,

Last spring, Pax Christi Massachusetts shared their position statement on “Just War Theory” (JWT) with the Pax Christi USA National Council and invited us to offer our reflections on the statement. The Program Development Committee of the National Council spent the past 8 months discussing the statement and offered the following reflections which were shared with and accepted by the rest of the National Council, after further conversation, at its January 2014 meeting.

We want to assure our membership, as it is articulated in Pax Christi USA’s Statement of Purpose—clearly, unequivocally, and unambiguously—that Pax Christi USA rejects war, preparation for war, and every form of violence and domination.  We remain steadfast in this publicly stated commitment.

We state with full conviction that all members of Pax Christi USA continue to call one another to live and value all that the Gospel stands for, especially non-violence in all of our relationships and the forgiveness of our enemies so as to witness to the compassion of Jesus. At the heart of who we are is the exploration, articulation and witness to Christian nonviolence.

In conversation with our allies, partners and the larger church, we need to emphasize and strengthen our commitment to working for a “just peace” which is rooted in the spirituality of non-violence and peacemaking and connects all four of our priority areas.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness and the passion for peace that are at the heart of the position statement issued by Pax Christi Massachusetts and those that have been raised by other regions.  As members of Pax Christi USA, we share the concerns and criticisms of JWT which are articulated in the statement. Our national movement is stronger for engaging one another on questions related to the signs of the times, our spirituality and practice of nonviolence, the teachings of our Church, and peacemaking in our world today. We continue to remain open and to welcome further dialogue on this subject and others.

Once again, we thank you for calling us to reflect on how the compassionate Jesus lived his life and the human and forgiving way that he went to his death.

Peace and continued Blessings,

Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director
Pax Christi USA

Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM
National Council Chairperson
Pax Christi USA

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