ISSUE 279                                                          November-December 2017
A word from the International Secretariat...
This autumn has proven to be a time of great activity at Pax Christi International. From our work around extractives and violence in Latin America and meetings in the Great Lakes region of Africa to an international disarmament conference at the Vatican and preparation for our consultation in the Asia-Pacific region, the work of peace continues on. This month's newsletter features some of those stories as well as others on the 2017 Pax Christi International Peace Prize, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and the work of our member organisations around the globe.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support of this movement and for all the work you do to witness deeply and concretely to the power of peace and nonviolence in our world today. And if you can support our work with a donation, we hope you'll do so by clicking on the donate button to your upper right.
Pax Christi Internatio nal honours ZODEVITE with
2017 Pax Christi International Peace Award
Pax Christi International recognised ZODEVITE, the Movimiento Indígena del Pueblo Creyente Zoque en Defensa de la Vida y la Tierra (the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth), based in Chiapas, Mexico, as the recipient of the 2017 Pax Christi International Peace Award.

The award was presented at a ceremony at the Instituto Maria SS. Bambina (Via Paolo VI, 21) in Rome, Italy on 29 October.

ZODEVITE is part of a wider movement, MOVEDITE, composed of indigenous groups, that in recent years has waged a nonviolent campaign to stop fracking, oil exploitation and mining business in southern Mexico.

In the past year, Pax Christi International has increased its commitment to nonviolence in all its forms, in relationship to all of creation including the Earth itself, and has formed the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative in order to promote and educate about nonviolence within the church and beyond.

“It is deeply important that we expand our understanding about the many applications and expressions of nonviolence,” said Greet Vanaerschot, secretary general of Pax Christi International. “The efforts of ZODEVITE to resist the exploitation of the land and to promote the dignity of the people of Chiapas serve as an excellent model of active nonviolence.” ...

Pax Christi International to hold
Asia-Pacific regional consultation

Pax Christi International will join our member organisations in the Asia-Pacific region for a regional consultation from 27 November to 1 December in the Philippines. The consultation will take place in Manila, hosted by Pax Christi Pilipinas, and include member organisations and representatives from Australia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Philippines, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Thailand and the Republic of Korea. The consultation is entitled, "Nurturing Spirituality to Achieve Sustainable Peace in Asia and the Pacific"...

CNI webinar highlights accomplishments, next steps

Since its creation in 2016, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative has celebrated a number of positive effects, such as Pope Francis’ 2017 World Day of Peace message, “Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace.” Other concrete actions, events, and dialogue have been ongoing, including dialogue with the Vatican. This webinar, recorded 7 November 2017, provides an update on some particular accomplishments and concrete next steps to maintain energy around the CNI and offers practical examples of action we can take to help move this forward in different social spheres....

#ThisIsNonviolence - Pax Christi Germany
Throughout 2017, Pax Christi International is making a special effort to "affirm the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church". Help us spread the message of the vitality and strength of active nonviolence to create social change in our world today!

Since January, we've been circulating messages over Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms encouraging people that  "This is what NONVIOLENCE looks like" with the hashtag #ThisIsNonviolence . Help us spread the word by sharing these messages now and tagging it #ThisIsNonviolence. Our latest image is above and comes to us from Pax Christi Germany.

We've created a  social media primer  for you with suggestions for how to use the messages below and participate in the campaign via your social media accounts. You can find the primer  by clicking here .

Congrats to ICAN on Nobel Peace Prize

Pax Christi International is very pleased that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has been recognised through the Nobel Peace Prize for its many years of striving to draw attention to the disastrous humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and for its admirable work in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted at the UN this July. The treaty bans the use, threat of use, production, development, stationing, and testing of nuclear weapons. . .

Pax Christi International co-hosts panel, publishes position paper on extractives

On 31 October, Pax Christi International with CIDSE, the International family of Catholic social justice organisations, and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE), co-organised the panel discussion "Extractives in Latin America: what are the responses at the grassroots, EU & international levels?" Pax Christi International also published a new position paper on extractives...

Pax Christi sends delegation to Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament
On 10-11 November 2017, Pax Christi International sent a delegation to attend a high-level international conference on disarmament in Rome sponsored by the Vatican. This conference, “Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament”, was a unique opportunity for civil society, church leaders, Vatican representatives, policy makers and others to discuss the next steps toward freeing the world of nuclear weapons as part of integral human development.

From the Peace Stories Blog:
Fr. Paul Lansu on "Legitimate defence
and the ideal of nonviolence"

War is not a solution for conflicts. Within Christianity there is a constant discussion about the area of tension between justified defences versus just peace. There remains an area of tension between the evangelical call to nonviolent resistance – to only return evil with good – and the daily reality of violence, terror and wars worldwide.

In this short reflection, I will discuss more in-depth the relation between legitimate defence, geopolitics and nonviolence as a political style. The considerations must be understood in the light of the ideal of evangelical nonviolence and thus in the light of a world without wars...

Welcome new member organisation Congregation of Sisters of Bon Secours

With great pleasure, Pax Christi International welcomes a new member organisation, the Congregation of Sisters of Bon Secours. The Congregation describes themselves this way: "Since 1824 the Sisters of Bon Secours have brought compassion, healing and liberation to those we serve. The Congregation of Sisters of Bon Secours is headquartered in the U.S. with international communities also in France, Ireland, Great Britain, Peru and South Africa.

"As Sisters of Bon Secours, the struggle for a more humane world is not an option; it is an integral part of spreading the Gospel and involvement in social justice issues is an important part of who we are as Sisters of Bon Secours.” (Constitutions #7)

Pax Christi International activities around the world...
Pax Christi France has issued a statement on the serious humanitarian crisis taking place in Yemen ... The Arafat Prize was awarded to Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem HB Michel Sabbah, former President of Pax Christi International ... Pax Christi member organisations from the Great Lakes region of Africa (Goma, Butare, Bujumbura, Kisangani, Uvira, Kananga, Kikwit, Kinshasa, Kisangani and Bukavu) met in Kisangani to continue to look at the future development of the Pax Christi Great Lakes regional network (photo above) ... Pax Christi Pilipinas leader, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ signed onto a statement calling for peace in Mindanao ... Pax Christi International held advocacy meetings at the European Union with a Latin American delegation including Ms. Martha Inés Romero, Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia, Pax Christi International; Mr. Gilberto Hernández, Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (FRAYBA), our member organization in Mexico; and Ms. Mikeas Sánchez Gómez, ZODEVITE, Zoque indigenous community from Chiapas ... Pax Christi USA, Sisters of Mercy, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Society of St. Columban all signed onto a statement with 751 other leaders of Catholic organizations, religious orders and justice and peace committees challenging President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea and his apparent intention to repudiate the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration ... Réseau Jeunes dans le Monde pour la Paix (RJMP, "Network for Youth in the World for Peace") , a Pax Christi International member organisation in the DR Congo, recently sent a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo encouraging them to sign the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons ...  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.