International Conscientious Objectors’ Day

15th May is a day for remembering all those who have struggled for the right to refuse to kill, throughout history and today. We remember those who have refused to bear arms and participate in war. Hundreds of people across the world are imprisoned or forced to flee their home countries for refusing to join the armed forces. On May 15th we stand in solidarity with them, as well as celebrating the memory of all those throughout history who have resisted conscription.

This year there will be several online events, open to anyone in the UK or abroad. There are actions you can take.

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/05/04/international-conscientious-objectors-day/

Global Campaign on Military Spending: Days of Action

Pax Christi advocates for nonviolent conflict resolution approaches. The global military spending campaign continues all year round but until 9th May we focus on action to raise awareness of the vast amount of money spent on the military around the world.

This year especially, as we struggle to deal with the impact of coronavirus, it is important to draw attention to the amount of public money that could be spent differently, for example investing in healthcare, social justice and education.

Find out more at the GDAMS UK website and the international GCOMS website.

Aisling, our Education worker, has prepared some online resources on military spending which may be especially useful for teachers in the current circumstances.

Can you join the selfie campaign? Post your selfie on social media. Put the poster in your window to share the information with people passing your house on their daily exercise route. There are lots more infographics you can use, or make your own poster – inspired by the rainbow pictures created by children during these times of restriction.

Pax Christi hosted a Zoom time of prayer and reflection on Wednesday 22nd April. We reflected on nonviolence and military spending, sharing our thoughts and prayers and some useful links are here. We even took some action during the Zoom call. To find out more, email us at info@paxchristi.org.uk

Reflections from Pax Christi Members.

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/04/17/global-campaign-on-military-spending-days-of-action/

Working for Peace in a Time of Isolation

In these unprecedented times, we try to continue with as many elements of our daily lives as we can. This crisis is helping us sift out and raise up the things that matter to us the most.

Now, the unholy business of selling weapons to kill people has been outclassed by the huge efforts of people in all countries to save lives. The uselessness of nuclear weapons has been revealed again. Our heroes are people who care for the sick, who shop for the isolated, who organise public transport. We meet together not in person but in prayer. The principles of  nonviolence sustain us.

Perhaps now is a time to re-imagine our world. When the restrictions are lifted, how can we live, work and relate to each other in ways that put those most-important things first? A series of essays by Catholic Nonviolence Initiative’s Marie Dennis, help to point the way.

Pax Christi International Co-President Msgr Marc Stenger reflects on this time. Ken Butigan of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative also writes of what we can learn. Our Director, Theresa, writes in Independent Catholic News. Together with our ecumenical partners in the Network of Christian Peace Organisations, we released a statement. Pax Christi International called on the US government to lift sanctions on Iran, Syria and Gaza, for humanitarian reasons. Pax Christi members speak their mind.

Look out for more online opportunities to join Pax Christi members and friends to share ideas and prayers together – next on the evening of 11th June! We continue to keep all our members and their families and communities in our prayers.

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/03/25/working-for-peace-in-a-time-of-isolation/

Update: Coronavirus and Pax Christi

In this the 75th anniversary year for Pax Christi International, a World Assembly was planned to take place in May in Hiroshima.
We are sorry to announce that the World Assembly has been postponed until May 2021 due to the virus. The Board of Pax Christi International noted ‘Our first concerns and prayers, of course, are with those directly affected by this outbreak and for those who have lost their lives, friends or family. [We] express our solidarity and support in prayers for all those whose families and citizens have been adversely affected and to some coming to terms with the death of their loved ones. Let us remember in a very special way the people of China (both living in China and across the globe) who may not only be going through this traumatising experience but also facing discrimination, isolation and stereotypical attitudes in the different parts of the world due to people’s caution and fear of contracting the virus.’

Please check the website for news of other upcoming events that may be postponed. For example, the wonderful programme of events planned in Birmingham this week, and featuring the Pax Christi Icon, has been postponed. The NCPO Conference Prophets & Reconcilers planned for 25th April, has been cancelled.

The Pax Christi office team will now be working from home. We have temporarily closed the office. Please bear with us at this challenging time. We will endeavour to continue as many aspects of our work as is possible. You can still contact staff via the office phone number which has been diverted: 0208 203 4884. We will also be continuing to check our emails. 

Pax Christi members and supporters, their families and their communities are in our thoughts and prayers.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/03/15/event-updates-coronavirus/

International Women’s Day

Pax Christi and London Catholic Worker hosted Kate Hennessy for an evening. Kate spoke about her grandmother Dorothy Day and her book The World Will be Saved by Beauty. In the book, Kate writes about Dorothy’s life through the lens of the relationship between Dorothy and her daughter Tamar,

Pax Christi Vice-President, Valerie Flessati, introduced Kate and gave a thumbnail sketch of Dorothy. Then  Kate spoke personally to those gathered in the packed room in Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. She generously answered a range of questions, including some from Catholic Worker member, Mirjam Johansson. It was a thought-provoking and powerful event. We made an audio-recording which will be available soon. Independent Catholic News reported on the event.

Valerie presented Kate with a set of photographs of Dorothy speaking at a Pax conference in Spode in 1963 during one of her visits to England. 

London Catholic Worker members are studying Kate’s book in their book group. You are welcome to attend their next book group meeting on Thursday 26th March at 6pm. Let them know if you are coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Director, Theresa, also hosted an event for women interested in peace in the Nottingham Diocese, on Saturday 7th March.  We had a reflective time in St Thomas More Church in Wollaton and then a good discussion over a cup of tea.

You might find the liturgy useful. Theresa would be happy to discuss with you how the event ran, if you are interested in doing something similar where you are.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/03/08/international-womens-day/

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