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September – December 2018

Henrietta Cullinan reports on Pax Christi arms trade workshops offered at Taize this summer.  5 September

This summer arms trade activists, Henrietta Cullinan, Pax Christi member, Nora Ziegler from the London Catholic Worker  and Nick Cooper of Put Down the Sword  visited the Taizé community in south east France, to give two workshops entitled No Faith in War: Christians challenge the arms trade. The week at Taizé was for a gathering of over 2,000 young adults from all over Europe.

We were introduced by Br Ulrich, one of the monks from the Taizé Community. After introducing ourselves, we explained briefly why it was important for us to resist the arms trade. Then we dived straight into a brainstorm of what the arms trade sells and who is involved. This was followed by a game that matched common myths about the arms trade with facts that refute the myths, drawn from CAAT papers on arms trade jobs  and Paul Holden’s book Indefensible. For instance, far from providing valuable employment in the UK, the arms trade actually provides a very small number of jobs, 0.2% of the total workforce which in time could be replaced with jobs elsewhere, in renewable energy production for instance.

The reading activity raised a lot of questions, partly because of the problems with translation, and partly because the facts were mostly to do with UK and the US, but it was also the intention to stimulate discussion. Some participants flatly disagreed, some doubted the veracity of our myth busting facts, despite the citations, while others said they would like to be able to use the facts in arguments with their friends. Others puzzled over why governments, the UK government in particular are so attached to the arms trade, which was the intention of the exercise.

Nora and Nick  gave an account, including a video, of the No Faith in War day of action in September 2017, during the set up of the DSEI arms fair, during which 17 were arrested, some for just walking around in the road. Full account here and resource produced by Pax Christi for the event


Pax Christi at the Eucharistic Congress, Liverpool, 8 September 

Among the creative parallel programme of events to be held in Liverpool on 8 September is the day entitled ” On the altar of the world” run jointly by the National J&P Network, Northern Dioceses Environmental Group, Together for the Common Good, Pax Christi and CAFOD Liverpool.  Events will be held in St Philip Neri Church, Catherine Street between 11.–am – 5.00pm.  Pax Christi have also produced a dedicated issue of their newsletter on the theme Eucharist, Peace and Justice

The beautiful Pax Christi ICON of Peace and Reconciliation will be a focal point for prayer and meditation at the start and end of the day.  Jenny Sinclair, Director of Together for the Common Good will be in conversation on the theme ‘Talking about Reconciliation for the Common Good’.

Pax Christi will facilitate a conversation with women peacemakers, Emma Atherton, Ella Holliday and Carol Burns to explore motivations and approaches to peacemaking in different contexts and what we can learn from them.  Fr Eamonn Mulcahy CSSp will offer insights into how Teilhard de Chardin and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si have re-energised work for eco-justice and care of creation.

The CAFOD team will speak about Creation time and the Livesimply award and the Northern Dioceses Environmental Group will offer family based activities during the day, including building Bat or Bird Boxes and making eco-bricks.  There will be art and peace-symbol making activities offered by Pax Christi.

Details of full parallel programme here 



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