ISSUE 280                                                         MARCH-APRIL 2018
A word from the International Secretariat...
Pax Christi International member organisations from around the world continue to promote peace and practice nonviolence to create a world that is more just, sustainable and whole. In this newsletter, you'll get but a small glimpse of all that is happening throughout our network: from efforts to accompany the people of Honduras during this time of repression to the work being done throughout the Asia-Pacific region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and act nonviolently for social change; from our Africa members joining the pope's call for prayers for peace in the DR Congo and South Sudan to reflections and actions for Lent on the theme of nonviolence from the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns in the USA; from the former national coordinators of Pax Christi Italy confronting the head of the Italian army to leaders of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative in Rome working to place nonviolence at the heart of what it means to be Catholic today.
For more stories from our movement, don't forget to check out the Peace Stories blog , a still rather new resource where we are featuring the stories and voices of the people who make up Pax Christi on every continent. And you can always find the latest happenings from our network on our website .

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of this movement and for all the work you do. We especially want to ask you if, during this time of Lent when almsgiving is part of our traditional practice, you can support our work with a donation. It's easy to do so. Just click on the donate button to your upper right. Blessings of peace this Lenten season to you!
Pax Christi Internatio nal issues call to European Union
on continuing human rights violations in Honduras
(Issued 6/3/18) As representatives of member organisations of the Pax Christi International working group on extractive industries in Latin America, we join the voices of those expressing great concern about violations of the human rights of social movement leaders, human rights defenders and opposition leaders by Honduran State security forces. These violations increased during the electoral processes in 2009, 2013 and 2017.

During the visit in January of an emergency delegation of religious leaders (which included a representative of Pax Christi International), we witnessed the grave political and social situation in the country. In the last three months, the lack of respect and the gap between the people and their state officials have grown due to corruption and the fragility of Honduran institutions.

On the occasion of the commemoration of the murder of Berta Cáceres and in honour of her memory, we call on the European Union (EU) to urge the Honduran government to stop the repression of the Honduran people. Specifically, we ask the European Union to:

  • Publicly support the work of human rights defenders and social leaders in the opposition.
  • Request the Honduran State to comply with international human rights obligations, as a premise for good governance and true rule of law.
  • As part of the EU-civil society roadmap, make visible the legitimate actions of Honduran organisations exercising their right to free expression and free movement via peaceful demonstrations.
  • Support the actions of the newly created Secretariat of Human Rights to guarantee its effectiveness and to assure that it not add to the frustration of the Honduran people.
  • Continue to support the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) politically and financially, so that its action impacts the fight against corruption, despite maneuvers to hinder its work. ...

Pax Christi International participates in emergency delegation to Honduras

Pax Christi International, represented by Martha Ines Romero, our Latin American Regional Coordinator, joined an emergency faith delegation to Honduras from 24-30 January. The delegation was invited by Rev. Ismael Moreno, S.J. (Father Melo) who has accompanied the Honduran people for more than 20 years. The delegation was a response to the extreme crisis in Honduras following the flawed presidential election in November 2017. Social movements have been protesting electoral fraud and have been repressed by Honduran security forces...

CNI leadership interviewed
on Vatican Radio

On 1 March 2018, Marie Dennis, co-president of  Pax Christi International , and Judy Coode, project coordinator of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, were interviewed by Philippa Hitchen of Vatican Radio about the roots, goals and challenges of the Initiative.

Members in Africa heed pope's call for prayers for peace
Pope Francis called for a "special day of prayer and fasting for peace in the world" on 23 February 2018. The day of prayer was especially aimed at prayers for peace in the conflict-stricken nations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

“In the face of the tragic continuation of conflicts in different parts of the world, I invite all the faithful to a special day of prayer and fasting for peace on 23 February, the Friday of the first week of Lent,” Pope Francis had announced. “We will offer it especially for the populations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and of South Sudan."

Members organisations like Association Modeste et Innocent (AMI) in Rwanda (pictured above), Africa Reconciled in DR Congo, and others prayed and acted in solidarity in observance of the pope's call.

Pax Christi International, Flanders mourns passing of Mark Heirman

Mark Heirman passed away Friday, 2 March. Mark was actively involved in the growth of Pax Christi Flanders from the very beginning in 1973. With his keen mind and fluent pen, he was editorial secretary of the magazine 'Courier' for many years. He wrote for Pax Christi Flanders dozens of timely comments and dossiers about international peace issues. He contributed to the development of various study groups of Pax Christi International and of ‘Nonviolent Alternatives’, an international service for nonviolent alternatives. In 1980 he became the first director of the International Peace Information Service...

#LiveNonviolence with resources from our members this Lent

Each Lent Catholics all across the world examine their consciences, repent of personal and social sin, and seek to witness more vividly to the peace and justice that are explicit in Jesus's teachings, life, passion, death and resurrection. We've collected resources for your use throughout the Lenten season to deepen your commitment to peace, nonviolence, justice and reconciliation in word and deed, in personal lifestyle choices and in action aimed at creating social change. Each week we're posting and sending out reflections from our member organisation, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns , connecting the themes of Lent and weekly biblical readings with nonviolence. You'll see those reflections (and other resources) at the link below.

Asia-Pacific member organisations participate in regional consultation
The following is the final statement issued by Pax Christi International member organisations in the Asia-Pacific region at the conclusion of their regional consultation, 27 November to 2 December 2017.

This week (27 November to 2 December 2017) representative members of the Pax Christi Asia-Pacific network have gathered in Manila to develop a shared vision of sustainable peace through active nonviolence in Asia and the Pacific (Including Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia).

This is a critical “Laudato Si” moment for us to address the interconnected, social and environmental crises destroying our common home.

The local, national and regional conflicts that our members confront are complex and demand systematic analyses of the root causes; hopeful and imaginative alternatives to violence and war; and cooperation, dialogue and solidarity in pursuit of the common good.

As a community of communities, Pax Christi International has provided a space for advocacy, communication, education, reflection, self-care and accountability to each other in our work...

From the Peace Stories Blog:

Rev. Valentina Satvedi Leydon,
"Through Blurred Lenses:
A Snapshot of a Gathering in Manila"

Being offered the opportunity to attend the Asia Pacific Network Regional Consultation organised by Pax Christi International was a privilege. The consultation was held in Manila, Philippines from November 27 until December 1, 2017.

Pax Christi in its inception is a very Catholic organisation. While that may be the case in regards to many of the Pax Christi member organisations, the one I find myself part of and based in – Victoria (Australia) – is very ecumenical and has been intentional in moving towards being an interbelief organisation, not merely a Catholic one. This movement is imbued with a stated intention to be inclusive of all who are committed to the work of justice and peace...

Welcome new members!

Soeurs de Sainte-Croix, C.S.C
Congrégation de Notre-Dame CND

Pax Christi International is excited to announce that we have two new congregational members in our global network: Soeurs de Sainte-Croix, C.S.C and Congrégation de Notre-Dame CND.

The membership of these religious congregations helps to build and strengthen our global network; deepen our collective reflection on a spirituality and theology of peace and nonviole nce; and develop our capacity for effective international advocacy and campaigning.

The Soeurs de Sainte-Croix are women who, following Basile Moreau, want to live a call of "service". They have the concern to do, in any form of service, work of education and resurrection according to the Gospel.

The Congrégation de Notre-Dame sisters and associates, through contemplative dialogue, dare to: Live interculturality; go to the peripheries; and honour and respect our “common home.”
Why Women Matter: Observe International Women's Day on 8 March
Much has been said in recent years about the heavy impact on women because of war, armed conflict and violence at every level. At the same time, women too often are perceived only as victims, and the strong leadership of women in the peacemaking field is neither recognised nor welcomed. The establishment of UN Women and the important work on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and related resolutions indicate growing consciousness of this reality.

Pax Christi has witnessed for many years the powerful presence and the untiring commitment of women working for peace. Pax Christi leadership from the very beginning of our movement has been fully inclusive of women. Our international network strives to promote the visibility of this legacy and to consciously incorporate the witness and wisdom of women into our peace agenda at every level. Pax Christi has much to contribute to the global effort to bring the contribution of women even more into the centre of the work for sustainable peace.

Pax Christi International leadership will be participating again this year in the International Women's Day program sponsored by Voices of Faith in Rome, entitled "Why Women Matter"....

Pax Christi International activities around the world...
Women members of Pax Christi UK are participating in the postcard campaign to tell Pope Francis "thank you" for his leadership on peace issues ... The latest edition of Pax Christi Australia's newsletter, "Disarming Times," features in-depth coverage and features from the recent Asia-Pacific regional consultation ... The National Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission of Haiti observed a "Sunday of Justice and Peace" for the Church of Haiti on 25 February ... Luis Emil Sanabria, t he d irector of Redepaz , Pax Christi International's member organisation in Colombia, recently led a delegation of social organisations encouraging peace dialogue ... Pax Christi USA executive director Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN (pictured above, second from left; photo credit: NCR) spoke to 500 people at the annual meeting of church social service providers ... Bishop Paride Taban, founder of member organisation Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron in South Sudan, recently won a prestigious human rights award ... Pax Christi Germany is calling for an arms control export law to stop the arms trade ... PAX (the Netherlands) issued a call to the UN, the EU and their member states to save Ghouta in Syria where 400,000 people have been living under siege ... Four priests, all former national coordinators of Pax Christi Italy , recently sent a letter to the head of the Italian army taking issue with his comparison of the military with priests in the service of peace ...   Pax Christi France is organising a workshop entitled “Truth and power: what role for lobbyists?” , on 10 March which will be held at the Institut Catholique de Paris ... The National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace (NJCP) in Pakistan offered condolences on the death of human rights lawyer Ms. Asma Jahangir , who was a co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the Pax Christi International Peace Award co-recipients (with NCJP) in 2016 ... Pax Christi Austria called for an immediate end to the attacks of Turkish army units on the Syrian province of Afrin ... For more news articles about Pax Christi International activities around the world, visit our website by clicking here.

This newsletter is also posted in Spanish
within 2 weeks of the English version. Click above to read the most recent issue.

This newsletter is also posted in French
within 2 weeks of the English version. Click above to read the most recent issue.