Ash Wednesday

Pax Christi members marked Ash Wednesday with acts of penitence and witness around the country as we have done for over 30 years. 

In London, there was a vigil of resistance and repentance at the Ministry of Defence. The liturgy and witness is undertaken in respectful opposition to the MoD’s preparations for the deployment of nuclear weapons. See HERE for more details

In Liverpool at noon, Pax Christi members and friends led a public act of repentance for our possession and intended use of the nuclear weapons.
In Coventry there was an Ash Wednesday Action beginning at the foot of the Old Cathedral steps, organised by Pax Christi members and friends.

Pax Christi members around the country  joined us in prayerful solidarity.

Independent Catholic News covered the London and Coventry events. More information is on the Pax Christi News page

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/02/18/ash-wednesday-2/

South Korean Peacebuilding Links

Bargn Nuri community is an intentional Christian community in South Korea. Pax Christi Director, Theresa Alessandro, met with 60 members of the community on their visit to London as part of their 1000-day Life and Peace Pilgrimage. The community members pray for victims of war and conflict in each location they visit and meet with local peacebuilders. Hosted by Christian CND and Anglican Pacifist Fellowship at St Ethelburga’s in London, Theresa co-chaired an inspiring morning in which Pax Christi Vice-President Bruce Kent, CND’s Kate Hudson and Christian CND’s Martin Tiller shared their thoughts on current challenges and perspectives on peacebuilding in this country – especially in relation to nuclear weapons and to climate change. Cheolho Choi, the leader of the Bargn Nuri community, spoke about their vision of a unified Korea in which people will be able to flourish in peace, living ecologically-balanced village community lifestyles as the  Bargn Nuri already practice. Cheolho said ‘Violence cannot achieve peace. The only way to achieve peace is peace itself’. You can read more here about the event, the community and Cheolho’s challenge to peacemakers in this country.

Pax Christi members in South Korea are working towards forming a new section. When Theresa asked them, the Bargn Nuri community were already aware of this positive development in their own country. We hope to maintain links with Bargn Nuri and with South Korean Pax Christi members.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/01/28/south-korean-peacebuilding-links/

Our Bishops in the Holy Land

Bishops from Europe and North America visited the Holy Land on their annual Coordination visit. From the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales, Bishop Declan Lang (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination) and Bishop William Kenney were among the group. Pax Christi International’s Co-president, Bishop Marc Stenger was part of the delegation, along with Church of England Bishop Christopher Chessun.

‘We must not ignore the voice of people in the Holy Land’  This communique was released at the end of the week-long programme of meetings and visits promoting dialogue and peace.

Theresa Alessandro, Pax Christi’s Director wrote to Bishop Lang thanking him for the bishops’ call for a political solution, upholding international law and rejecting support for settlements.  Pax Christi is also pleased that the communique affirmed those struggling by nonviolent means for justice in the region.

Read more about the Holy Land Coordination here

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/01/23/our-bishops-in-the-holy-land/

A Hidden Life: Film about Franz Jägerstätter

The new film by writer-director Terrence Malick is out now. The story of the Austrian farmer and conscientious objector, Franz Jägerstätter, is already well-known to many Pax Christi members. We have been inspired by his determined witness, for many years. In August 2019, we held our 30th Franz Jägerstätter commemoration service in Westminster Cathedral. We will be in the crypt of Westminster Cathedral again this year on Sunday August 9th.

Read more about Franz and take a look at our resources. We also have excellent  education resources. Our education worker, Aisling, finds that the session she delivers about Franz is the one most commonly requested by schools. Contact Aisling for more information about this: education@paxchristi.org.uk

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/01/08/a-hidden-life-film-about-franz-jagerstatter/

Violence as We Begin 2020

Mexico reported a record total of 31,000 murders in 2019.  A few days into the New Year, we hear reports of continuing violence in many parts of the world. For example, there were more  drone strikes in Somalia,  continuing attacks in Syria, and the killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.

Pax Christi USA Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch issued a statement following the killing of Qassem Suleimani: ‘Such actions go against everything we stand for as people of faith and are incompatible with the message of Jesus.’

During his Angelus address on January 5th, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace . He reminded us of his World Peace Day message: Peace as a Journey of Hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion.

Regarding the potential escalation of violence between Iran and the West, more analysis pieces are here from Eli McCarthy, Paul Rogers and Richard Reeve, Rose Marie Berger,  Jim Wallis and Cardinal Turkson. There is also a radio interview with Paul Rogers.  We recall Walter Wink’s words on the myth of redemptive violence: ‘Its metaphor is not the journey but the fortress. Its symbol is not the cross but the crosshairs of a gun. Its offer is not forgiveness but victory. Its good news is not the unconditional love of enemies but their final elimination.’

Pax Christi’s work for peace will continue in 2020.

Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2020/01/05/violence-as-we-begin-2020/

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