by Terrence Rynne, NCR
The Catholic church’s ongoing move away from the just war theory as “settled teaching” to a more expansive call to proactive peacemaking has been made clear in a global conference scheduled for April 11-13 in Rome.
Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” is gathering educators and activists from all over the world, particularly from the global South. The precise purpose of the conference is to more fully develop a vision of nonviolence and just peace for the Catholic church.
Five reasons underlie this pivot to a positive vision of peace and a point of view that goes well beyond the just war theory:
- Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete;
- The rise of a Christology “from below”;
- A clearer understanding of how the New Testament relates to contemporary problems;
- A renewed appreciation of the way the early church practiced Jesus’ teachings on peace;
- The compelling, thrilling saga of nonviolent action over the 60 years since Gandhi…