Below is the official Pax Christi USA statement following the visit of Pope Francis to the USA, from Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, Pax Christi USA Executive Director.
It began in Congress and culminated at the United Nations: For the past 3 days, Pope Francis clearly and eloquently spoke of the need for organizations like Pax Christi who continue to struggle and educate to empower the voices of God’s people so that the U.S. and the world may bring forth the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face. At the joint session of Congress, Pope Francis gave flesh to our Catholic Social Principles by lifting up the dignity of human life, the equality and dignity of all people, and that the common good must be the common aim of all elected officials, especially those rendered poor and vulnerable by unjust systems. He gave examples of the principles of participation, subsidiarity, stewardship and solidarity that must inform all of our processes as we strive to empower one another.
We also resonated with the eloquent, simple and direct words of Pope Francis when he spoke to the UN about peace through non-violence, resistance to systems that exclude, innate human rights of all people, and restoring the global climate to a level where all people can thrive and not merely exist.
Of particular interest to us were the concrete suggestions he offered. It is not enough to have dreams for peace with justice, but we must match those dreams with specific actions for justice that will be effective and practical for the good of all people.
We commend his courage as well as the challenge and the support he has given to our movement.