(Published Dec. 12, 2016) Today in Pope Francis' message, Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace, he urges people everywhere to practice active nonviolence and notes that the “decisive and consistent practice of nonviolence has produced impressive results.” While NP is nonsectarian, we welcome such affirmations. Mel Duncan, NP’s Advocacy and Outreach director noted:
"As we struggle in a World War fought 'piecemeal,' nonviolent methods of protecting civilians are proving themselves effective in some of the most violent places on the planet. Indeed, more peacebuilders, conflict transformers, mediators, nonviolent resisters and unarmed civilian protectors are at work than any other time in history. We welcome Pope Francis' pledge of assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence. We need it!"
Pope Francis’ statement follows the landmark Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference held in Rome in April 2016. Eighty-five experts on nonviolence from throughout the world including Mel Duncan were invited to advise on the Just War Theory. The group agreed that there is no “just war." Instead, they issued an appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of nonviolence in the Gospel. The group called on the Catholic Church to promote nonviolent practices and strategies including unarmed civilian protection.
In his message, the pope pledged “the assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence.”
NP urges our supporters who are involved with a faith community to take similar initiatives to actively practice and promote nonviolence, including unarmed civilian protection.