Peace

Just War

“Nothing is to be lost with peace; everything can be lost with war.”
Pope Pius XII

Background

“Catholics must work to avoid war and to promote peace. Nations should protect the dignity of the human person and the right to life by finding more effective ways to prevent conflicts, to resolve them by peaceful means, and to promote reconstruction and reconciliation in the wake of conflicts. Nations have a right and obligation to defend human life and the common good against terrorism, aggression, and similar threats. This duty demands effective responses to terror, moral assessment of and restraint in the means used, respect for ethical limits on the use of force, a focus on the roots of terror, and fair distribution of the burdens of responding to terror. The Church has raised fundamental moral concerns about preventive use of military force. Our Church honors the commitment and sacrifice of those who serve in our nation’s armed forces, and also recognizes the moral right to conscientious objection to war in general, a particular war, or a military procedure.”
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship 2007, 67.

Action

Write to your legislators about the need for a peaceful resolution to conflict.

Resources

 

Africa

“Our faith teaches us about good and evil, free will and responsibility. Jesus’ life, teaching, death and resurrection show us the meaning of love and justice in a broken world. Sacred Scripture and traditional ethical principles define what it means to make peace. They provide moral guidance on how the world should respond justly to terrorism in order to reestablish peace and order.”
A Pastoral Message: Living With Faith and Hope After September 11

Background

We stand in solidarity with the Church and the peoples of Africa, to recognize and support their courageous commitment to peace, justice, and reconciliation. We encourage the Catholic community in the United States to contribute its diverse talents and gifts to the continent’s causes of justice, peace, and integral development. We call the U.S. government to demonstrate responsible leadership and increase its engagement in working with African nations in order to address their present challenges and future possibilities. As we do this, we are reminded of the words of the Holy Father: “Africa is not destined for death, but for life!”
A Call to Solidarity with Africa, 2001

Resources

 

Holy Land

“Our faith teaches us about good and evil, free will and responsibility. Jesus’ life, teaching, death and resurrection show us the meaning of love and justice in a broken world. Sacred Scripture and traditional ethical principles define what it means to make peace. They provide moral guidance on how the world should respond justly to terrorism in order to reestablish peace and order.”
A Pastoral Message: Living With Faith and Hope After September 11

Background

“At this time of crisis and danger, we must speak a word of hope. It is our conviction that the current crisis can also open up new opportunities for peace. Our shared faith in the One God gives us hope and reminds us that God is on the side of peace. Hatred will not have the final word. We are one human family, and people ultimately want the same things for their own families–peace, security, dignity, opportunity. The unique role of the United States in the region and in the world gives our nation a special responsibility to pursue peace. The United States must make peace in the Middle East an urgent priority. Achieving Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace will have positive reverberations in the region and around the world. Our nation and the world will be much safer if peace takes hold in the Middle East.”
Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace: From Crisis to Hope: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Religious Leaders Call on the United States to Make Peace a Priority

Action
  • Write to your legislators about the need for a peaceful resolution to conflict.
  • Invite a CRS Global Fellow to speak at your parish
  • Support CRS’ work in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza
Resources

 

Repeated Social Teaching

Respect for and development of human life requires peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquility of order.” Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity… Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2304, 2306.