by Terrence Rynne
The movement within the Catholic Church to reclaim Gospel nonviolence received a jolt of energy and momentum recently in the form of a Retreat on Gospel Nonviolence. The three-hour Dec. 18 event featured a cavalcade of leading practitioners and teachers of nonviolence from all around the world.
Organized by Pax Christi International and its Catholic Nonviolence Initiative in cooperation with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the retreat was conducted over Zoom across 10 time zones in English and translated simultaneously into French and Spanish. More than 600 retreatants participated from all over the world.
Among the presenters was Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Nobel Prize winner from Northern Ireland. She explained how nonviolence did what violence could not — bring peace to her land.
Bernice King, the daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King and head of the King Center, presented her father’s message, showing how opponents really can be turned toward friendship.
Msgr. Bruno-Marie Duffé, secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, demonstrated how forgiveness works as a key element in effective nonviolence.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole from the University of Notre Dame told stories of people all across Africa wielding nonviolence as a fundamental spirituality and a power for social change.
Alessio Pecorario and Salesian Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, also leaders in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, showed how nonviolence brings authentic security to the world and how nonviolence is fundamental to saving our common home…