Articles related to Pax Christi
Pax Christi International is looking for Young Peace Journalists to give a voice to people seeking refuge. Pax Christi International is building up a young peace journalist team from all over the world to report about the lives of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and displaced persons. As part of the team you will organise an interview with a person from these groups in your hometown or area. Full online training will be given. The international team of peace journalists will use their work for awareness raising, influencing policy makers,
From Abindgon to Altrincham, Southport to Sheffield, orders for Peace Sunday 2017 are rolling in to the Pax Christi office. It seems that parishes across the country are taking up the World Peace Message challenge of Pope Francis "Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace." The theme for 2017, 'Nonviolence: a style of politics for peace', seems to have captured the attention and imagination of individuals, communities and parishes.
The following interview was conducted by Ella Holliday. It is the latest entry in the Pax Christi Young Peace Journalists project featuring the stories and voices of refugees. Mohammad is a 22-year-old from Aleppo who arrived in the UK in 2016 having left Syria in 2014. In his conversation with Ella, Mohammad talks about his family and describes what life was like before the war, how he escaped from the war-torn city and is coping now....when the revolution started, everything went too fast really, no one thought anything could go this wrong so fast.
Pax Christi International has welcomed Pope Francis' message for World Peace Day, calling on the Church to invest in non-violent ways of resolving wars and conflicts. The message, entitled 'Non-violence: A style of politics for peace' was published in December to mark the Catholic Church's observance of World Peace Day on 1st January. In the message the Pope notes that violence leads to suffering through forced migrations, environmental destruction, terrorism and organized crime, as well as a deadly cycle of retaliation that ends up benefiting merely a few warlords.
In his message 'Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace' for the 50th World Day of Peace, celebrated each year on 1 January, Pope Francis urges people everywhere to practice active nonviolence and notes that the "decisive and consistent practice of nonviolence has produced impressive results." In England and Wales the message is celebrated on 15 January with resources produced by Pax Christi. The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a global effort to affirm the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church, is heartened by and deeply grateful for the Holy
The year 2017 will mark 100 years since the Balfour declaration that made public British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, 70 years since UN resolution 181 calling for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, and 50 years since Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the annexation of East Jerusalem. Pax Christi International believes that this is the moment for a renewed commitment to end the violence and to reach a just and sustainable solution guaranteeing the fundamental rights of both Israelis and Palestinians
New figures out this week show that 24 percent of British Army recruits are child soldiers. This is despite public opposition from the Quakers and other Christian and lay organisations campaigning to raise the age of enlistment. The Ministry of Defence released the UK armed forces biannual diversity statistics 2016. They show that the proportion of the Army's intake aged under 18 increased from 22.5 percent to 24.1 percent. The armed forces as a whole recruited 1,140 16 year olds and 1,250 17 year olds, from a total of 12,300 new recruits.
One of my favourite t-shirts is black and has in striking gold lettering, the words, 'Fly kites not drones'. It always attracts attention and opens the door for conversation. What are drones and what do they have to do with kites? Where are drones used? Who makes them? Why are they used? All excellent questions. The phrase was inspired by a young Afghan boy, a member of Afghan Peace Volunteers. In Afghanistan, clear blue skies mean perfect weather for flying kites (remember the film Kite Runner?) but they now also mean perfect weather for the use of armed drones too.
From Dublin to Damascus, London to Helsinki, in Mexico and Spain to Sri Lanka - prayer vigils for peace in Syria were held in more than 160 countries around the world. This prayer initiative was organised to coincide with the Holy Father's prayers with members of the Lutheran Church in Lund, Sweden. Bishop William Crean said: "Innocent men, women and children are paying the ultimate price in the continuing conflict raging in Syria, especially in Aleppo, where they are caught in the crossfire. I join with Pope Francis in urging governments to find a political solution to the war
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Friday to support negotiations for a global nuclear ban. Out of 177 countries, 123 voted for the resolution. Just 38 countries, including the UK, voted against and 16 abstained. Resolution L41 was adopted by the First Committee and means ban treaty negotiations will be convened in 2017. Just 38 countries voted against the resolution and 16 abstained. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi, said: "Pax Christi is delighted with the outcome at the UN ...to adopt a resolution to launch negotiations
The people of Syria are suffering. Countless thousands have been killed. Millions more have been forced to flee their homes. Across the world, Catholics and Christians from other traditions will hold vigils on 31 October as part of a global day of prayer for peace called by Pope Francis while he is visiting the Lutheran church in Sweden. London: join Pax Christi, CAFOD and the Council of Lutheran Churches in the UK for simultaneous prayer vigils for peace in Syria at the Foreign Office, (junction of Whitehall and King Charles Street) or the Russian Embassy,
Pax Christi International, together with the World Council of Churches and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, are working with one voice in their attempts to ensure global support in the UN General Assembly later this month, for the resolution to "Take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations to convene a United Nations conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination." This has been submitted by the governments of Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South
Peace campaigners have welcomed Austria's UN General Assembly resolution to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017. Austria's foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz, announced on Wednesday that his country would join other UN member states in tabling a resolution next month to convene negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017. Speaking in the high-level debate of the UN General Assembly in New York, he said that "experience shows that the first step to eliminate weapons of mass destruction is to prohibit
The World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel has begun. From 18 - 24 September Churches around the world will hold the people of Palestine and Israel in their prayers, raise awareness about the situation, and campaign for a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land. This important initiative, started by the World Council of Churches is a great opportunity to get your Church, local community, friends and family involved in campaigning for justice in Palestine and Israel.
More than one million Syrians remain under siege. The recent cease-fire agreement between the United States and Russia can contribute to relief for civilians in Syria, but lifting the sieges and ending the illegal strategy of starvation of one million Syrians should be top priority of the accord. In addition to those still under siege, more than 1.4 million were under threat to become fully besieged, including over 200,000 residents of eastern Aleppo. The Siege Watch: Third Quarterly Report on Besieged Areas in Syria, a joint effort by The Syria Institute
North Korea today confirmed that it had conducted its most powerful nuclear test explosion to date, with an estimated yield of 10 kilotonnes, triggering a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) - a coalition of non-government organisations, including Pax Christi, in close to 100 nations - strongly condemned this reckless and destabilizing act, which runs counter to the growing tide of international support for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
As Fresher's Week is about to begin in universities and colleges around the UK, the Student Christian Movement (SCM) has published a prayer for all new students, and a list of some of the events they are planning over the next few months. These include a conversation between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace prize winner; a ceilidh, a speaker from Pax Christi and a talk by Timothy Radcliffe.
Pax Christi International, together with Pax Christi USA and Pax Christi UK, has sent letters to President Obama and Prime Minister May in which we have voiced our concern about the continuing conflict in Yemen between the government--supported by the Saudi-led coalition--and the Houthis, as well as the US and UK involvement with arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The United Nations Human Rights Office report that since March 2015 3,799 civilians have been killed and more than 6,000 injured. Three million have been forced to flee the violence.
Fourteen pilgrims from around England have just returned from a walking pilgrimage to Vezelay in France. Organised by Student Cross and supported by Pax Christi, the pilgrimage was arranged to mark the 70 anniversary of the 1946 Pilgrim Cross when pilgrims carried fourteen crosses from England, different parts of France, Luxembourg and Switzerland to Vezelay. The original pilgrimage included a group of German POWs. All of these crosses are mounted in the beautiful Basilica of Vezelay.
To mark the 70 anniversary of an international post-war peace pilgrimage to Vezelay in France members of Pax Christi and Student Cross are taking part in a mini-pilgrimage from Auxerre to Vezelay. Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi is using this opportunity to raise funds for the Christian Peace Education Fund. Read here about the 60 anniversary and of the links with Fr Columban Ryan op who took part in the 1946 pilgrimage.
A prayer service was held last night in the Crypt Chapel of Westminster Cathedral, to remember the victims of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, to mark the anniversary of the execution of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter in 1943 for refusing to serve in Hitler's army, and to pray for all conscientious objectors and those who work for peace. Organised by Pax Christi, the service was attended by Christians of many denominations as well as representatives from the Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu communities.
An ecumenical service, organised by Pax Christi, will take place this evening in the Crypt Chapel of Westminster Cathedral, to mark the 73rd anniversary of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter's execution in 1943 for refusing to serve in Hitler's army. Franz Jagerstatter was beatified in October 2007. The day also marks the anniversary of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. At least 74,000 people died on this day in 1945. Three days earlier, some 140,000 had been killed in the world's first nuclear attack on Hiroshima. Many thousands more were to die later
Pax Christi members took part in Hiroshima events around the country today from Barnet to Kendal and London to Liverpool. In London Pax Christi members too part in two events. Outside Westminster Cathedral members led times of prayer in memory of those who died in Hiroshima and calling for peace and disarmament today. They also handed out hundreds of leaflets, many in different languages, to communicate with the large tourist population, to remind people of the anniversary and of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
71 years ago, at 8.15am on August 6, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed with an atomic bomb. In a few minutes thousands of people lost their lives in the attack. Three days later the city of Nagasaki met the same fate. Many more thousands died later of radiation sickness. The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has produced this video in memory of the victims of these nuclear attacks on two cities. In the coming months, governments will decide if negotiations of a treaty banning nuclear weapons
Pax Christi will hold their annual Hiroshima Day time of prayer/information sharing outside Westminster Cathedral. They will have prayers at 11.30am and again at 3pm. Open to all who wish to pray with them. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of nuclear war
For those of you who will be spending some of the school summer break preparing for teaching the new Religious Studies GCSE in September, Pax Christi has new resources to offer. The resources are particularly suited to the AQA, Edexcel, and OCR specifications, looking at Religion, Peace and Conflict.
Members of Pax Christi joined with Anglicans, Methodists, Quakers and Buddhists on Wednesday, 13 July, in supporting the Stop Trident Lobby in Central London today. Starting with an ecumenical service in St Martin-in-the-Fields they then held an hour-long vigil opposite the House of Commons as the Lobby began. During the service they heard the words of the Scottish Bishops from a statement issued on 12 July: "The UK signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Britain should take more decisive and courageous steps to revive that aspect of the treaty
Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace, has been mobilising its members and others to speak out against the planned replacement of Trident, the British nuclear weapon system, due to be voted upon on Parliament on Monday 18 July. A single Trident warhead is more than six times as powerful as the bomb which killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima. In recent weeks Pax Christi have written to every Catholic MP, urging them to consider the moral and legal implications of voting to replace Trident and encouraged their members to do the same
Pax Christi, will join with an alliance of people from different religious traditions are taking action against nuclear weapons at the factory where they are made, on Monday, 27th June 2016. During the day there will be times of prayer, readings and actions that aim to stop the normal work of the factory. Pax Christi will lead prayers and a reading of the 'Trident Dialogue' drama at 1pm. Opposition to nuclear weapons transcends borders, race, creed and religion. During the Month of Action at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire,
Pax Christi sister organisation PAX Netherlands has issued an update of its Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions report. Cluster munitions are banned under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) because they kill indiscriminately. The report shows that 158 financial institutions invested more than US$28 billion in seven producers of banned cluster munitions. "Recent use of cluster munitions, in amongst others Yemen, shows the devastating effects of these weapons on civilians," says Suzanne Oosterwijk of Pax.
Pax Christi's latest peace education newsletter contains a new assembly celebrating the life of Dorothy Day. On his visit to the United States last year Pope Francis, addressing Congress, praised the American lay-woman, Dorothy Day, for her social activism and her passion for justice. 2016 is the year during which MPs will vote on replacing the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system, and the newsletter lists the latest resources to raise awareness.
The Network of Christian Peace Organisations, of which Pax Christi is a member, has just issued a Trident Briefing to encourage individuals, organisations and churches to engage in critical debate about the decision, to be taken later this year, on the replacement of Trident, the British nuclear weapons system. The Briefing will be circulated through the thirteen member organisations of NCPO which includes Pax Christi, Quaker Peace & Social Witness, Christian CND, Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Student Christian Movement as well as within the wider Christian
Catholic peace campaigners have welcomed the 'Colloquium on Catholic Approaches to Nuclear Proliferation and Disarmament' which took place in London this week. But they express their disappointment that the renewal of the Trident nuclear defence system, which will be voted for in Parliament this autumn, was apparently, not discussed at the conference and "no one working in this country for an end to nuclear weapons was invited to the closed seminar."
More than 100 people attended the London commemoration of International Conscientious Objectors Day on Sunday 15 May. Among them were members of Pax Christi, Columban JPIC, Westminster Justice and Peace, Movement for the Abolition of War and Quaker Peace and Social Witness. The lives of specific conscientious objectors during WW1 were highlighted by their relatives. Particularly poignant was Siw Wood's story about her uncle Walter Roberts from Stockport, who died from pneumonia in 1916, at the age of 20,
Health & Education were top of the list in a ballot taken today in Central London for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Members of Pax Christi, part of the national GDAMS planning group, held a ballot at Kings Cross Station earlier today inviting passers-by to 'Vote for a Safer World'. Their choices: Education & Healthcare; Tackling Climate Change; International cooperation and Arms and Military intervention. This is the fifth year that the Global Day of Action on Military Spending has been marked in the UK.
"We believe that there is no 'just war'. Those words are at the heart of a statement published on Thursday at the conclusion of an international conference looking at changes in Church practice and teaching on non-violence and peacemaking. Organised jointly by the Catholic peace network, Pax Christi International and the Vatican's Justice and Peace Council, the three-day encounter brought together some 80 theologians and peace activists from conflict zones around the world.
Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants in a major conference sponsored by Pax Christi International, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, exploring the theme: Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence.
This year's Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) will be marked on Monday 18 April 2016. World military expenditure currently stands at a massive $1.75 trillion. The UK is ranked sixth internationally, and will spend £45 billion in 2015/2016. On the GDAMS day individuals and groups are invited to suggest a redistribution of UK's £45 billion military budget.
This year, 2016, is 'decision time' for Trident: will the UK take the first step towards a world without nuclear weapons or commit to at least another 50 years of them? A vote on renewal of Trident will be put before parliament in 2016, probably in September or October.
Justice and Peace groups in Belgium sent out this statement after the terrorist attacks in Brussels this week. The first thoughts of the workers and volunteers of Justice and Peace, Pax Christi and Magma are with the victims of the attacks and their relatives. By striking at Zaventem and in the heart of Brussels, the terrorists not only wanted to bring death: they also intend to sow hatred. It belongs to all of us not to offer them what they want. To live up to what happens to us, is to refuse rage and withdrawal.
As the conflict in Syria enters its sixth year, Pax Christi International has issued the following statement calling for negotiations to end the conflict and bring political transition in Syria. In March 2016 we mark the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising in Syria. The first cessation of hostilities after five years of war in Syria began on 27 February 2016. Although there have been dozens of violations of the ceasefire daily, many communities have for the first time in years witnessed a period of calm and respite from bombardments.
A musical evening highlighting historic opposition to war was held last night at the Catholic Worker House in Haringey. It marked 100 years since the start of conscription and was organised by the Haringey First World War Peace Forum, Hinde Street Methodist Church, the Methodist Peace Fellowship, the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and Pax Christi. Pax Christi members were prominent in the choir and in the audience, as were members of Westminster Justice and Peace.
Participants in the first Catholic People's Week (Winter weekend) of 2016 will be writing to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales to urge it to take a stronger stance over government plans to renew the Trident nuclear missile system. "After listening to a presentation by Pat Gaffney, the General Secretary of Pax Christi, on the theme of, 'The things that make for peace when the world prepares for war', and her report on Saturday's anti-Trident rally in London, around 30 participants from around the country unanimously
Hundreds of people gathered last night at Friends House in London in anticipation of the National Stop Trident Rally on 27 February. Speakers included Bruce Kent of CND and Pax Christi, Kate Hudson of CND, Richard Norton Taylor of the Guardian and Ellie Kinney of Student CND. Bruce Kent opened the evening stating that in all national discussion about Trident replacement he had failed to hear a coherent argument in favour. Trident is unable to meet the real threats of our time be that climate change, poverty or the threats from ISIS and other violent
Pax Christi International is calling on all people of good will to organise acts of solidarity and days of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria between 15 and 20 March 2016. The organisation says: "We call on individuals and organisations to show solidarity with refugees and victims of war and violence and create signs of hope that peace can come again in Syria. In March 2011, Syrian civilians started non-violent demonstrations to demand basic freedoms and rights. The regime's extreme repression led to the militarisation of the protests, evolving to a
Around 100 people marked the beginning of Lent with a procession and vigil outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London, to challenge the UK Government nuclear weapons policy. The event was organised by Pax Christi, Christian CND, London Catholic Worker and the Catholic Worker Farm. Participants included religious and parish groups and some Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monks and nuns who are based at the Battersea Peace Temple. Clergy included Fr Rob Esdaile of Arundel and Brighton Diocese and Fr Joe Ryan,
Catholic People's Weeks (CPW) will be running nine events in 2016. The first two - in February and March - still have a few places available. CPW's main aim is to provide continuing formation in the Catholic faith. However, non-Catholic people are very welcome who are interested in, or in sympathy with, the Catholic tradition. Every event offers a chance, in the company of friendly fellow-seekers...
All are welcome to join Pax Christi on Ash Wednesday (10 February) for the 34th year of Christian witness and resistance to nuclear war preparations at the Ministry of Defence in London. This liturgy and witness is undertaken in respectful opposition to the MoD's preparations for the deployment of weapons of mass destruction, and Repentance is a key theme. The event has been organised in conjunction with Christian CND and the London Catholic Worker.
Pax Christi is inviting people who can sing to join a group putting on a World War One peace event on 29 February (in Haringey) and 1 March (in Central London). Clive Barrett (Chair of the Peace Museum in Bradford) has devised a 'musical lecture' telling the story of the First World War conscientious objectors interspersed with the music that inspired them and that they sang. The songs are drawn from the Co-operative Song Book, the Fellowship Hymnal, and the Conscientious Objectors' Songbook that they used.
The Holy Land Coordination is a group of mainly European, North America (USA and Canada) and South African bishops who annually visit different places in the Holy Land meeting with church and political representatives, as well as with local Christian communities and NGOs active in the field of peace, human rights, caritas and development. Church related organisations such as Pax Christi International are always invited to participate and Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor represented the movement again in 2016.
Peace Sunday 2016 will be celebrated on 17 January. The theme from Pope Francis is 'Overcome indifference and win peace'. Resources for this Sunday are prepared annually by Pax Christi, with the support of the International Division of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales. There are various resources available. These include a Liturgy booklet (with ideas for bidding prayers, homilies and hymns to be used at Masses on that day), a prayer card and an on-line Assembly resource for secondary schools.
This Christmas Kairos Britain is inviting readers to send a message of support to those living in Palestine/Israel. Christmas in the birth place of Christ is characterised by occupation, blockade, military rule and poverty. We want to express our solidarity and support to all those suffering under this weight of oppression and let them know that they are not alone. As Christians we share in their burden and afflictions, standing side by side with them in their suffering. All messages will be sent to the Christian parishes in the Holy Land.
There will be readings and carols for peace, with music led by Julie McGann, at Pax Christi's Annual Advent Service, at 7.30pm on Tuesday night (8 December) at St Aloysius Church, Phoenix Road, London NW1 - near Euston Station. After the service there will be a Christmas Market with Palestinian olive wood carvings and other goods from the Holy Land, gifts from Jesuit Refugee Services, handicrafts
Following the debate in Parliament on 26 November 2015, it is likely that there will be a vote very soon, proposing military action in Syria, Pat Gaffney, general secretary of Pax Christi UK writes. Many Pax Christi members contacted their MPs in 2013 when a similar vote took place. We urge you to do the same again. Try to ensure that prayers are said in your parish community that nonviolent responses be pursued in facing crimes of terrorism and extremism.
A growing number of financial institutions have dropped or cut investments in nuclear weapons, a new report published by Dutch peace organization PAX shows. Fifty three financial institutions who have prohibited or limited investments in nuclear investments are named in the report: 'Don't Bank on the Bomb - this is a 150% increase compared to last year's report. The increase illustrates the growing stigmatization of nuclear weapons because of the renewed focus on their humanitarian consequences. The report also identifies 382 banks, insurance companies and pension funds which have
Bruce Kent, a former chair of CND, now vice-president of the Movement for the Abolition of War, and Pax Christi, will be talking about people who have had the courage to say "no" to war. These include Professor Joseph Rotblat, Sylvia Pankhust, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter and many more, who he says are: "all an inspiration and encouragement for us today who work for a more peaceful and just world". The event, organised by the Islington Archaeology & History Society,
How different is the remembrance of war in a land and among a people destroyed by war! This is one of the strongest feelings I took away from our Pax Christi Peace Pilgrimage to Flanders between 29 October and 1 November. Twenty members of Pax Christi British section joined with Pax Christi members from Germany, Flanders, Wallonie Bruxelles, France and Pax Christi International to mark the 70 anniversary of our movement and the centenary of the First World War in a spirit of pardon, reconciliation and peace.
Pax Christi report that they are greatly encouraged by the number of events their members and supporters have been involved in linking the Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel and times of prayer and fasting for the wider Middle East and North Africa. The J&P group in St Joseph's parish Hanwell had a holy hour of prayer using Pax Christi resources, including the postcard 'The people of Palestine & Israel need bridges not walls.' They invited those taking part to write their own message or prayer for peace.
Bassa Jang! Enough War! This was one of the clear messages delegates at a conference on Women & Peacemaking heard in London on Saturday 26 September. It came from children in Kabul who are involved in a peace education programme at the Borderfree Centre for Nonviolence in Kabul. Mary Dobbing, one of the speakers at the conference, has made two solidarity visits to Kabul to visit the Afghan Peace Volunteers. She recounted that on one visit they set up a SKYPE link with groups in the UK working on drone warfare to enable the young people
This Friday, 2 October, International Day of Nonviolence, Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace will be holding an 8-hour vigil of prayer and fasting at Downing Street, London calling on the British government to stop its involvement in the global arms trade as a concrete way of supporting the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. Pax Christi undertook a similar action last year, inviting members and supporters around the country to take a twenty-four hour period for prayer and fasting during the week 28 September - 3 October.
More than 140 people gathered in the wind and rain outside the London ExCel centre last night to keep a vigil of silence and prayer on the eve of Defence Services Equipment International arms fair. This is the world's largest arms fair and among the delegates attending are Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Pakistan, three countries features on the FCOs own list of "countries of concern" in terms of human rights abuse. Organised by the Quakers and Pax Christi, Sam Walton of Quaker Peace & Social Witness opened the event saying : "We are here as people of all Faiths and none.
Tens of thousands of people poured out onto the streets of London, Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, York, Brighton, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and other cities, on Saturday, calling for the government to do more to help refugees. In London, families with children, student groups, and older people walked for more than two hours from Hyde Park to Westminster where a rally was held in Parliament Square.
'Bridges not Walls' is the theme of the 2015 week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. The week will be observed 20-26 September. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness. Pax Christi is a member of the planning group for the week,
A coalition of faith groups, including Pax Christi , London Catholic Worker and the Quakers have come together to call for the UK government to stop its support for arms fairs and arms sales to oppressive regimes. The faith groups will be hosting a day of prayer and non-violent action against the arms trade and war profiteering, outside the Excel Centre on Tuesday 8 September, at the same time as the organisers are putting together the final preparations for DSEI. Pax Christi will be leading an hour of prayer at 11am.
The life and witness of Blessed Franz Jaegerstatter was commemorated yesterday (9 August) at a crowded interfaith service in Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road central London, organised by Pax Christi. Among the participants were local civic leaders, members of other Christian denominations and London's Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities. Franz was executed in Berlin on 9 August 1943 for refusing to serve in Hitler's army. He was beatified in 2007.
A special service commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held in the Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral on Sunday night. Candles and Japanese origami cranes were placed as symbols of our commitment to ending nuclear weapons. Among those taking part in the service were Minister Motohiko Kato, the Deputy Ambassador of Japan,
On 9 August 1943 a Catholic farmer, an Austrian, was sentenced to death and beheaded in Berlin for refusing to serve in Hitler's army. His name was Franz Jaegerstaetter and his witness and courage are commemorated by Pax Christi each year. Franz was beatified in his home diocese of Linz in 2007. His story, and that of his faithful wife Franziska, who died last year, are an inspration to many. Writing from prison in Berlin close to the time of his death Franz wrote: "I am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth, even if it costs me my life.
God our creator and sustainer, we gather to pray in the midst of a broken people who today remember the darkness and the shadow of death and destruction caused by nuclear weapons..... We know that we deal falsely with the world and with ourselves, healing wound too lightly by saying " peace, peace" when there is no peace. Let there be sown is us anew the unity, the light and the peace which passes all understanding. Be with us today and keep our minds and hearts in you and in your peace
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 & 9 August. In 1945 the death toll in Hiroshima was estimated at between 100,000 - 180,000 and in Nagasaki between 50,000 and 100,000. 70 years on - nine countries, including the UK, possess more than 17,000 nuclear weapons. Trident, the UK weapons programme, is eight times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi,said: "This is an ideal time to engage people in thinking about the reality of nuclear weapons today.
Pax Christi's Icon of Peace will be on display in St Patrick's Chapel, Westminster Cathedral, London between 3 - 17 August. People are invited to visit the Icon and spend time in prayer and reflection for peace. The Icon, made in the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem, was given to Pax Christi International in 1999. The people and stories depicted on the Icon, from Eastern and Western Christian traditions and from scripture, open our eyes to forgiveness and reconciliation as part of making peace.
Every year Pax Christi members around the country commemorate the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th & 9th August. This year is even more important as we mark the 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons and mourn that they are still with us - 70 Years on!
The following address was given at the 37th Annual Conference of the National Justice and Peace Network of England and Wales - 17-19 July 2015 by the Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action.
A coalition of Christian campaigners have called for the Church of England (CofE) to stop facilitating arms trade events. This follows the news that the conference centre owned by Church House, the administrative headquarters of CofE, will be hosting an event sponsored and attended by some of the world's biggest arms companies. The RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2015, taking place in Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, on 30 June - 01 July will have a focus on land based conflict. A second RUSI Conference, the Chief of the Air Staff's Air Power
Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi and Bruce Kent of the Movement for the Abolition of War are among signatories to a letter published in the Independent today challenging the impact of military culture on young people. Today is Armed Forces day, a relatively new venture created by the Government to provide a way for 'the public show their support for the Armed Forces'. However, signatories to the letter believe that it is primarily a promotion and celebration of military culture that is very much aimed at children and young people.
Pat Gaffney was thanked for her 25 years as General Secretary of Pax Christi UK at Saturday's AGM in London. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool, the National President, presented her with a special bowl and flowers to a standing ovation from all present. "I get more out of Pax Christi than I could ever give", she responded to around 100 members at the annual gathering. Awards also went to three woman who were recognised as grassroots peacemakers - Sheila Gallagher from Westminster Diocese, Sue Scott from Birmingham Diocese and Anna Kobayashi from Brentwood Diocese.
Our Pax Christi UK group was sitting in a café in the old city of Jerusalem enjoying our final Falafal before returning home. Another group, dressed bright turquoise with yellow scarves, joined us at the two tables either side. The all black group hailed from the Catholic Archdiocese of Capetown and we were delighted to share stories about our two pilgrimages. As we chatted, it struck me as ironic that this group - 25 years after the end of apartheid, during which South Africa's black community faced severe repression - was now free to visit Jerusalem and yet the majority of Palestinians in Bethlehem, six miles down the road, cannot.
Thirty three international humanitarian aid and advocacy organisations, including Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Pax Christi have written today to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urging him to give his "personal attention" to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma) and to take "a personal lead" in negotiating for humanitarian access to all areas of Rakhine State. In an open letter, the NGOs quote the UN Assistant General-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-hwa Kang, who said after visiting camps for internally displaced people
In a final statement at the end of their meeting in Bethlehem, Pax Christi International has reaffirmed its recognition of the state of Palestine, a ban on settlements and its stand in favour of nonviolent struggle against occupation. The World Assembly of Pax Christi urges all UN-member states to recognize the state of Palestine and to ban Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine. The 160 participants in the Assembly of the international Catholic peace movement in Bethlehem/West Bank from 13th to 17th of May are deeply concerned about Israeli policies that deny the rights
Participants attending Pax Christi's 70th anniversary Assembly in Bethlehem had another outing this evening - a truly golden evening in the sunshine - down to Manger Square and the Church of St Catherine for Pax Christi International's 2015 Peace Award ceremony. The church is adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, which marks the site of the birth of Jesus and which is currently undergoing major repairs. It is St Catherine's that hosts the Christmas Eve Mass that is beamed around the world.
On Sunday morning Pax Christi international members meeting in Bethlehem gathered outside Banksy's Shop beside the Separation Wall, huddled together in two ribbons of shade for it was an oppressively hot day. Yes, the famous British street artist was here in 2007. His cartoons on the Israeli-constructed Wall, which include the "Flower Thrower" and "Armoured Dove - are very much appreciated by the Palestinian community. Anyway, why were we there? We came together for a short pilgrimage along the section of the Wall that is near Rachel's tomb in North Bethlehem
International Catholic peace activists held a candlelight vigil in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Thursday evening to mark the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, when Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine and Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes. Around 160 people attending Pax Christi's International Assembly were present, along with Pax Christi member organisations and partners, including Bethlehem's Arab Educational Institute and Kairos Palestine. Many local people joined in as the vigil got underway in Manger Square, near the Church of the Nativity.
Buses lined up outside the venue of the Pax Christi International Assembly at noon today to take the 160 participants out on exposure visits. My busload was off to the Jordan Valley to focus on 'Ecological Justice: Promoting Sustainable Peace'. As we tucked into our packed lunches we passed the one and a half hour journey being constantly reminded that we were in locations prominent in the story of Jesus. We noted the 'Shepherds' Fields' in East Jerusalem, the 'Samaritan Inn' on the road to Jericho and of course the Jordan River where Jesus was baptised. In Jericho itself
Pope Francis and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, were among those sending messages of support to Pax Christi International's Global Assembly which opened this evening in Bethlehem. Founded in 1945, Pax Christi is celebrating its 70th anniversary, taking the theme, 'Pilgrims on the Path to Peace'. Around 160 representatives of Pax Christi member organisations and partners from five continents heard Pope Francis send "cordial greetings" and assure the gathering of his "spiritual closeness". Ban Ki-moon's warm message said,
More than 160 peace campaigners from around the world will gather in Bethlehem this week, from 13 - 18 May, for the Pax Christi International Assembly - to celebrate 70 years of the movement and exchange views on work and plans for the future. A group from the British Section will be taking part. During their stay they will visit other parts of the West Bank following the meetings. A highlight of the visit will be celebrations for the canonization of two Palestinian saints: Blessed Miriam Bawardi and Blessed Marie Alphonsie Ghattas,
The Columban Missionaries, Religious of the Assumption and Pax Christi came together to hold a vigil of prayer and fasting for climate change in the Maria Assumpta Chapel in Kensington on Friday, 1 May. The vigil was in solidarity with the Pray and Fast for Climate project which is working towards the UN Conference on climate in Parish in December. Those taking part were encouraged to renew a vision of world peace, compassion for all and environmental awareness for today and future generations. They heard of the impact of war and conflict on the environment
Spending on Health and Education at home and overseas came out 'top of the list' in the street survey conducted by Pax Christi today as part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. On the day when the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute announced that in 2014 Global Military Spending was $1,776 billion, groups around the world are speaking up to urge governments to redirect military spending to projects and initiatives to challenge the real security threats to the world.
On this Global Day of Action on Military Spending Pax Christi International expresses deep concern about the scandal of excessive military spending in a world where human and ecological well-being are in dire need of investment. Figures recently published by SIPRI - the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, estimate world military expenditures in real terms for 2014 at roughly $ 1.8 trillion, a significant increase from the already shocking $ 1.75 trillion spent in 2013. The top 10 spenders in 2014 are the United States (USA), China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, United Kingdom, India, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
This year could be an important turning point on this issue. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will be considering the UK's position on recruiting under 18 year olds into the armed forces. The UK is the only country in the EU to recruit at 16. Also, the Ministry of Defence will be challenged in the courts for forcing recruits under 18 to serve longer than adult recruits. Last week, Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights called again for the issue of children serving in the armed forces to be scrutinised. The Defence Committee has also asked that the Ministry of Defence justify their reliance on 16 and 17 year olds.
Syria's popular uprising started in the city of Dara in March 2011. The merciless actions of the Syrian Government - whose campaign of violent repression against what were originally peaceful protesters began four long years ago - have now morphed into wave upon wave of pitiless assaults by all sides. The Syrian conflict has killed well in excess of 200.000 people, and continues to kill more every day. It has involved the torture and ill-treatment of countless others; forced millions to flee; and deprived even more of the basic conditions for a decent life, including the rights to education, food, healthcare and housing.
Twenty six faith leaders from eight faith traditions, among them Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool and National President of Pax Christi, have signed a statement in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference meetings scheduled for April urging nuclear weapons states, of which the UK is one, and the international community, to develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a world free of nuclear weapons. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi commented: "We should be encouraged by this initiative which expresses
Britain's involvement in the global arms trade, the Renewal of Trident and Britain's role in the world are just some of the issues explored in the new General Election Briefing produced by Pax Christi and other Christian Peace Groups. Aimed at Christians throughout the country the Briefing reminds readers that "Christians are called to be peacemakers; to love not just our neighbours but also our enemies... We believe we are called to work for a world where unbridled human greed, violence and animosity towards the 'other' are no longer acceptable in a civilised society".
It was a 6.30am start for some members of Pax Christi on Monday as they joined others at the North Gate into AWE Burghfield this morning, to play their part in the all-day blockade of the atomic warhead factory. For more than 10 hours two entry gates to Burghfield were closed by protesters and the third was partially closed. Despite a huge police presence there were no arrests - a tribute to the nonviolent nature of the actions. AWE Burghfield is one of two factories involved in the loading of nuclear warheads.
Members of Pax Christi will be among hundreds of others taking part in a nonviolent blockade of Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield in Reading, from 7am on Monday 2 March. AWE Burghfield is one of two factories involved in the loading of nuclear warheads. AWE Aldermaston produce the ingredients and AWE Burghfield assembles them. Nuclear warheads move up and down between AWE Burghfield and Faslane submarine base in Scotland.
Pax Christi, together with the Quakers, Methodists, URC and others have written a private letter to Mr Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, expressing concern that the further build-up of weapons and use of aggressive language might propel Europe into a wider conflict with unknown and dangerous consequences. The signatories called on the governments of France, Germany and UK to ensure that every effort be made to demilitarise the crisis.
Around 150 people marked the beginning of Lent with a procession and vigil outside the Ministry of Defence in London to challenge the UK Government nuclear weapons policy. The event was organised by Pax Christi, Christian CND, London Catholic Worker and Westminster Justice & Peace. A Buddhist monk and nun also participated. Opening the time of prayer, Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi, said that Christian witness of this kind has taken place for the past 33 years on Ash Wednesday at the Ministry of Defence, bringing prayer
The beginning of Lent this Wednesday will be marked with a number of actions and prayer vigils around the world. In London there will be the annual witness of Repentance and Resistance to nuclear war preparations, organised by Pax Christi, Christian CND and London Catholic Worker. Groups will meet in Whitehall Gardens off Horseguards Avenue, near the Ministry of Defence at 3pm to start the act of worship, followed by a procession into Horseguards Avenue for prayer and reflection at a number of stopping points.
Thousands of peacemakers gathered today in London to join a major campaign to put Trident on the agenda for the General Election in a creative action to ‘wrap up ‘ the Ministry of Defence and other government buildings with giant pink scarf. Before the encircling of the buildings several hundred members of Pax Christi, the Quakers, Christian CND and other Christian gathered for prayer in St Martin-in-the-Fields and then kept vigil outside on the steps, proclaiming to those who passed messages from the churches condemning nuclear weapons.
Catholic parishes around England and Wales will celebrate Peace Sunday on 18 January , sharing the 2015 peace message of Pope Francis, "Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters". Pope Francis describes slavery as 'an open wound on the body of the human family - a running sore on the flesh of Christ". Pax Christ has promoted the annual World Peace Day message since it began in 1968, helping parishes explore each message for our own time and place. The 2015 message invites us to explore the links between slavery, violence and war.
Four people have been arrested for protesting at RAF Waddington over the use of armed drones, controlled from the base, that have killed and injured many civilians. The group: ' End The Drone Wars' were Pax Christi executive member Chris Cole, 51, from Oxford, Katharina Karcher, 30, from Coventry, Gary Eagling, 52, from Nottingham and Penny Walker, 64, from Leicester. They are currently in police custody.
Bruce Kent, vice-chair of Pax Christi, writes in the Guardian today: If I were king for a day there’d be a maximum wage to curb the fat cats..... And any charity that does not acknowledge the link between poverty and militarism would regret it.............It has taken too long to make me, at 85, a monarch. This delay can only be a matter of gross prejudice against elderly, white, plump, balding at the back, English Roman Catholics.
Readings and prayers reflecting a concern for abused women, refugees, the people of Palestine & Israel will be the focus of the annual Pax Christi Advent Peace Service. Held at St Aloysius Church, Euston on Monday, 8 December, the service which has been held for more than twenty years, will include music from Bernadette Farrell, the Iona community together with traditional Advent and Taize music. The music will be led by pastoral musician Julie McCann.
Hundreds of people gathered at Farm Street Jesuit Church yesterday, 17 November, to give thanks for the life of Fr Gerard W Hughes SJ. The Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Dermot Preston SJ Provincial and Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ gave the Homily. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi gave the following reflection on Gerry Hughes work with the international Catholic movement for peace. Gerry’s links with Pax Christi stretch back more than 30 years when he began his search to find out about the life,
There is nothing glorious about war and no room for triumphalism or nationalism. This is one of the messages that Pax Christi members have shared in recent months, contributing to ideas and resources that ensure that a peace message is central to Remembrance and First World War Commemorations. Pax Christi asks its members: What tone, language and symbols are appropriate to the way we remember the First World War? What distinctive peace message do we want to convey?
Pax Christi is recruiting singers and musicians for their annual Advent Peace Service, which will takes place at St Aloysius Church 20 Phoenix Road Euston London, on Monday 8 December 2014 at 7.30pm, followed by an alternative and fair trade Christmas market and party. Rehearsals for singers and musicians will be taking place on the following dates: Rehearsals for singers will be on Sunday 30 November from 2.30pm - 4.30pm at St Aloysius Church 20 Phoenix Road Euston NW1 1TA
As part of the International Week of Action Against Drones, members of Pax Christi and Friends of Sabeel UK joined with staff and students from Queen’s Theological College, Birmingham, and members of Birmingham churches in an ‘Act of Witness’ outside UAV Engines, the Elbit Factory at Shenstone, near Lichfield. The Israeli owned factory manufactures the engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) which are used for military purposes. The group regularly meet there to protest against the use of these military drones to kill innocent people.
Pax Christi members held a day-long vigil outside Downing Street in London to pray and fast for peace in the Middle East. Pax Christi members undertook the fast to offer prayerful encouragement to the many peace talks and negotiations that are taking place at this time and as a small act of solidarity with those whose lives are destroyed by war. In a letter sent to David Cameron prior to the day Pax Christi's message was clear: That the government should: - Invest resources and personnel in peacebuilding and diplomatic work
In a letter to The Times today, 20 September, seven Christian leaders stated that it is unacceptable that British citizens should be persuaded that their security depends on the credible threat to kill millions of innocent people. They went on to say that the Government should take a lead in current global initiatives to create a nuclear-weapons free world and that cancelling Trident would be a step in this direction. Those signing this letter are: Most Revd Malcolm McMahon, Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford,
Members of Pax Christi, CND, War on Want, Quaker Peace & Social Witness, CAAT and the National Justice and Peace network, took part today (Wednesday) in the House of Commons launch of Rethink Trident. The project brings together the Churches, Trades Unions and peace organisations with a common purpose: to call for the cancellation of Trident. Kate Hudson of CND said that the aim of the project is to broaden and deepen civil society initiatives on Trident
Pax Christi invite people of faith around the country to join in solidarity with others to fast and pray for one or more 24-hour period between September 8 and October 7. Pax Christi hope that this simple gesture will be a small act of solidarity with those whose lives are destroyed by war – in Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine, and that it will offer prayerful encouragement to the many peace talks and negotiations which are taking place, as well as supporting a range of peace activities.
Travelling Light is the theme for the annual Greenbelt Festival, where faith, arts and justice meet at Boughton House, Kettering between 22 - 25 August. Pax Christi has had a strong presence for many years and will be there again this year. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi will speak on the theme, Let us remember: stories of peace from the First World War. This is also the focus of the Pax Christi stall and exhibition, with the added challenge of encouraging participants to see where peace-work today has to continue
Pax Christi Member Organisations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany,I ndia, Italy, New Zealand, the UK and the United States have sent letters to their Ministers of Foreign Affairs calling for an immediate action t safeguard the right of life of all vulnerable populations in Northern Iraq. The news coming from the country is horrendous: thousands of people, mostly minority groups including Christians, Yazidis, Shabak and Turkmen have been brutally driven from their homes; innocent children, women and men are suffering violence of every kind.
At the end of a week which saw so much death and violence in the world, thousands of people came to London to take part in several major peace events - a national demonstration for peace in Gaza, a vigil marking the anniversary of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and ecumenical prayer services. From noon onwards, central London came to a standstill as an estimated 150,000 people from across the UK - of all ages and faiths - among them young families with children - marched peacefully from BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place to Hyde Park, passing the US Embassy. So many people arrived to take part, that by the time the front of the march reached Hyde Park, the end
Pax Christi International commemorates victims of nuclear bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a number of events around the world this week. The organisation says: On these solemn days, as we remember the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pax Christi International offers a message of hope. In his first World Day of Peace Message, Pope Francis spoke of community as the pathway to peace: “The ever-increasing number of interconnections and communications in today’s world makes us powerfully aware
There was great interest in Pax Christi's peace vigil l outside Westminster Cathedral today (Wednesday). Staff and volunteers gave out leaflets and resources to those passing into the Cathedral, many from other countries. The message was clearly presented: nuclear weapons are illegal and immoral and Britain should get rid of Trident, its nuclear weapons programme. Introducing times of prayer, Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi read a statement from the Catholic Bishops' of Japan:
Pax Christi has called for the world to stop supplying arms to war in Syria. In statement the organisation says: The tragedy of war and the horrendous suffering of the Syrian people continue without respite. Pax Christi International believes that this armed confrontation – which continues to destabilize the region affecting mostly civilians – can be stopped if the international community focuses on promoting serious political negotiations and discourages violence in all its forms.
Pax Christi (Pat Gaffney) and Kairos Britain (Ann Farr) ran two timely workshops on Palestine at the National Justice and Peace Network Conference last weekend. The following outlines their workshop structure, a vigil for Gaza and follow-up action ideas. Participants were invited to look at a series of photographs as they came in and to choose the one that challenged them most. Images illustrated the situation in Palestine today: the restriction of movement, the arrest of children by the Israeli military, the demolition of homes.
"Live by the sword: bad business for Church House" and " God does not need money from the military" were two of the messages shared today outside Church House Conference Centre as delegates from the military, the arms companies and Government arrived for the Chief of Air Staffs Air Power Conference. Members of Pax Christi, Christian CND, Fellowship of Reconciliation England, CAAT Christian Network were among around thirty people who held vigils at the two entrances fo Church House.
A coalition of Christian campaigners has called for the Church of England to stop facilitating arms trade events. This follows the announcement that Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England, will be hosting an event attended by some of the largest arms companies in the world. The Chief of the Air Staff's Air Power Conference, taking place in Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, on 09-10 July will have a focus on aerial weaponry.
Undeterred by the odd shower, more than 60 people gathered in London’s Tavistock Square on the morning of 28 June to undertake a day-long Peace Walk through the city to commemorate peace-making between 1914-2014. Why 28 June? The day marked the 100th anniversary of the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which set off a chain of events that led to the start of World War One. It was also Armed Forces day in the UK. The walk was a counter-witness to the prevailing culture of war and militarism.
The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award was granted to the Jesuit Refugee Service Syria last night at St Joseph’s church in Sarajevo. The celebration formed part of the Sarajevo Peace Event 2014 which has been taking place throughout the city of Sarajevo this weekend. The ceremony was celebrated by an international community of members and partners of Pax Christi, those who have attended the Sarajevo Peace Event, and people from the local community. The Ceremony was centred around performances by the Pontanima choir
Members of Pax Christi from around the world are gathering in the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia, for annual meetings and to take part in an International Peace Festival between 6 – 9 June. Sarajevo was chosen for the peace festival because of its historical role as the place of one of the triggers for the First World War. On 28 June 2014 Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. To most of us it is remembered as a place of war and genocide in the early 1990s.
While events commemorating the centenary of the start of World War 1 are taking place around the UK, a ceremony was held yesterday in central London to commemorate those who refused to take part in the carnage. Being a Conscientious Objector was not an easy option. Several were sentenced to death. Many were imprisoned. Some served on the battlefield as medical orderlies. All faced ostracism and derision. Yesterday, in a historic gathering, more than 300 people came to hear the families
Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa, will pay a visit to Britain in June to publicise the legacy of Archbishop Denis Hurley and to raise funds for the completion of the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban. The Centre presently under construction will be home to about a dozen projects to provide medical care, a soup kitchen, job training, support for people living with HIV/AIDS and in particular will offer assistance to refugees, migrants, who have reached South Africa from afar afield as Somalia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) underlined its mission to foster social justice, based on the Church’s Social Teaching, at its quarterly meeting on Saturday at CAFOD’s offices in South London. A talk by David McLaughlin, Senior lecturer in Theology at Newman University, titled “Our Response to Pope Francis’ call to be ‘a Church for the poor’”, and based on the apostolic enhortation Evangelii Gaudium, was enthusiastically received. He stressed that, “private charity can never be enough; the poor also need justice”.
Descendants of 50 First World War conscientious objectors will take part in this year's International Conscientious Objectors' Day commemoration in Tavistock Square, London WC1, on Thursday, 15 May. Some of these are daughters and sons of men who endured repeated imprisonment and force-feeding for their anti-war convictions, or worked with Friends' Ambulance and War Victim Relief services. The ceremony at 12 noon will include the naming of each CO by family members who will bring their photographs and lay flowers
In 2016, the British government will be deciding whether to replace the Trident submarine fleet, the UK's independent nuclear weapons system. An open meeting to discuss this issue will take place at 7.30pm this Wednesday, at St John Vianney Parish Centre, West Green Road, London, N15 3QH. Hosted by the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission in conjunction with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Pax Christi, the main speaker will be Bruce Kent,
Pax Christi joined with other peace and environment groups today in Central London to symbolically redistribute the £38 billion military budget to government departments with greater needs. Today, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) it was announced that world military expenditure totals $1.75 trillion - UK military expenditure is £38 billion. The UK has the 6th largest military budget in the world.The action in London, where speakers included Bruce Kent of Pax Christi, Kate Hudson of CND, John Hilary of War on Want
Peace, development and environmental groups around the world will challenge huge military budgets and argue for a major shift of resources towards meeting human needs on 14 April, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. World military spending stands at $1.7 trillion with UK military spending at £38 billion. The UK has also committed to spend about £100 billion in total on the replacement of Trident, the UK's nuclear weapons system. This global day of action was initiated in 2011 by the International Peace Bureau,
Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace has offered congratulations to its President, Bishop Malcolm McMahon on the news of his appointment to Archbishop of Liverpool. In a statement, Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi said: "We greatly appreciate the engagement that Bishop Malcolm has with us and our work at both national and international levels. In recent years he has helped us champion the cause of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter,
The beginning of Lent was marked with a number of actions and prayer vigils in England and Scotland. In London the Ministry of Defence building in London was marked with blessed ash during a liturgy of repentance for nuclear war preparations. For 32 years Christians have gathered at the MoD on Ash Wednesday to call on the government to repent and move away from nuclear war preparations. Members of Pax Christi the London Catholic Worker and Christian CND from around the country gathered to pray and take part in symbolic acts
As severe floods and hurricane force winds continue to engulf large parts of the country - forcing more than 6,000 households to evacuate their homes and causing massive damage to businesses, farms, roads and railway lines, Christian campaigners have set up a petition calling on the UK government to abandon renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system - estimated to cost more than 100 billion pounds, and instead use taxpayers' money to help flooded communities rebuild - and to develop flood defences so that this
As the world comes together in Sochi to open the Olympic Games, Syrians are living under siege. In the spirit of the ancient tradition of an Olympic truce, echoed by the United Nations Secretary General in January, we call on the United Nations Security Council to put an end to these inhumane and illegal methods of war by supporting a Resolution demanding full and unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of Syria. As the Winter Olympics open, Syria must be opened to life-saving humanitarian aid.
Parishes around the country will celebrate Peace Sunday on 19 January, the day when the Catholic Church in England and Wales reflects on the Pope's World Peace Day Message. Since 1968 Pax Christi has provided liturgy and reflection materials to encourage every parish in the country to mark the day. In his letter to parishes, Pax Christi President Bishop Malcolm McMahon said: "Pope Francis invites us to challenge the globalization of indifference, to work through all parts of society, finance, civil society, politics, research, development, public and cultural institutions to combat the ''throwaway culture".
All people of good will are invited to write messages of hope and encouragement to the people of Bethlehem, in an initiative staretd by Pax Christi. The season of Advent and Christmas reminds us of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. Your prayers and wishes of peace, justice and solidarity, will be used in Bethlehem and elsewhere in educational and religious settings. They are also expected to become, over time, a helpful resource for peace spirituality and peace building.
A network of twenty education, peace and human rights groups, both secular and religious, have today launched a petition calling on the Ministry of Defence to end recruitment of 16 year olds into the UK armed forces. At present 15 year olds can apply and 16 and 17 years olds can be recruited into the Armed Forces. The UK is the only country in Europe - and the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council - to recruit 16 year olds into its armed forces.
Sixty students from Trinity School, Leamington Spa, Sacred Heart School Hammersmith and Douay Martyrs School, Ickenham came together on 18 October for a study morning on the remarkable life and witness of Blessed Franz Jaegerstaetter. This year marks the 70 anniversary of Franz's execution in Berlin in 1943 for refusing to serve in Hitler's army. The day was led by the Pax Christi team and guest speaker from Austria, Severin Renoldner a theologian, former Vice-President of Pax Christi Austria and expert on the life of Franz and of Austria
South African Bishop Kevin Dowling, head of the Tapologo project in Rustenburg, will be one of the key speakers along with Bishop Pat Lynch, Chair of the Office for Migration Policy, Bruce Kent, Vice-President of Pax Christi and Sisters from the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at the Salvation Army headquarters in Oxford Street on Saturday 19 October. The event, organised by the Justice and Peace Assembly, takes place a day before World Mission Sunday, the one day in the Church calendar when
Pax Christi are hosting an evening open to all, to remember the life of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter - 70 years on, this Friday, 18 October at the Centre for Youth Ministry in Euston. The evening will include learning, celebration and prayer to mark the 70th anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter with guest speaker: Severin Renoldner from Pax Christi Austria, researcher and writer on Franz and Head of Education and Culture, Diocese of Linz, Austria (Franz's home diocese).
“An extraordinarily good resource, and a hopeful one about engaging with the issues of conflict and climate change”, was how the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers described a new DVD ‘Conflict and Climate Change’. Christine Blower said the NUT was “delighted to be associated with the DVD and with the Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW)”, which produced the 18 minute DVD in collaboration with Kevin Mayhew Publishing. She particularly liked the “excellent” cartoons which will get young people talking about the root causes
Teach Peace, a new resource from the Peace Education Network, is a set of eight assemblies, follow-up activities, resources, prayers and reflections on peace for primary schools. From the UN peace day, 21 September, to the International Day for Children as Victims of War, 4 June, the school year is filled with opportunities to use the assemblies and activities in Teach Peace. This resource will help to ensure peace is a key theme in our children’s education
Around 200 people of all faiths took part in a candle-lit prayer vigil last night, outside the London Excel Centre in Docklands, where the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair is taking place. The event is the largest arms fair in the world. Campaigners say it hosts companies that sell weapons to some of the world's worst human rights abusing regimes, including the Russian arms suppliers to Syrian President Assad. It also welcomes firms that have supplied
The British Section of Pax Christi is calling on its members and supporters around the country to take up the invitation of Pope Francis to pray and fast for peace in Syria and other conflict areas this Saturday, 7 September. Pax Christi has produced a simple resource for personal or group use, offering a reflection from Pope Francis together with a number of prayers and actions that people might take in pursuit of peace in the region. The call to pray on 7 September is timely. Here in the UK the word's largest arms fair, Defence & Security
'A Time for Action', a British Christian response to the Kairos Palestine* document was launched at the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham on 25 August. Pax Christi is a signatory to this new document. Pax Christi's Ann Farr, who was involved in the drafting process, spoke at the launch, introducing the action section which, along with prayer for peace and justice, invites people to participate in visits that highlight the reality of occupation on the peoples of Palestine and urges political action to challenge the violations of human rights and international law.
"While we unequivocally condemn the use of chemical weapons, regardless of who perpetrated the attack, Pax Christi pleads with the nations of the world to recognize the responsibility and authority of the UN Security Council to address this egregious violation of international law and morality and to work with the United Nations to protect - without escalating the violence - the Syrian people. This should be done through urgent diplomatic efforts to stop immediately the flow of arms to both sides and to all militant groups
Peace activists from around Britain gathered in London last Friday to remember witnesses for peace in the world. They also lamented the deaths of more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki on 9 August 1945 after the world's second nuclear bomb was dropped on the city by the United States. A service, organised and led by Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi, was held in the Westminster Cathedral crypt to recall Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer and a Catholic who was executed seventy years ago,
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the execution of Franz Jägerstätter in Berlin, for his refusal to serve in Hitler's army. Where: Crypt Chapel, Westminster Cathedral. Entrance via school car park, Ambrosden Avenue. The service begins at 6.30 pm on 9 August. Patrick Riordan SJ lecturer at Heythrop University, London will be speaking. Events will be also taking place in Austria, his home country, to commemorate Franz and his wife Franziska. On 9 August 2013 a memorial service at the hour of death of Franz Jägerstätter at 4 pm will be held in the prison of Brandenburg/Havel
The anniversaries of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 will be commemorated in a number of prayer vigils, services and other memorial events across England and Scotland this week. In Coventry, on 6 August,
there will be an ecumenical Hiroshima & Nagasaki service at 6.30pm
in the Chapel of Unity at Coventry Cathedral. In Kent, a prayer vigil for Hiroshima & Nagasaki will take place Relic Chapel at
The Friars, Aylesford on 6 August at 8.20pm
Pax Christi is looking for a coordinator for distribution and promotion of publications and support for members around the country The person appointed will be a good team worker and highly motivated to work under own initiative. The person will be responsible for both the managing, promotion and dispatch of Pax Christi publications and support for Pax Christi members and partners in their promotion of Pax Christi’s work in England and Wales.
Members of Pax Christi, Coventry RC Deanery Justice and Peace Group and Coventry University Dept of Peace and Reconciliation protested outside Coventry Cathedral today, 16 May, before the Annual General Meeting of the City Council.
Coventry Council is one of the seven West Midlands Councils that pays into the West Midlands Pension Fund, that has investments in several firms that are involved in the arms trade. These include: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, EADS, Thales and Halliburton.
Professor Tina Beattie, Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing at the University of Roehampton was the guest speaker at the combined AGMs of Pax Christi and the National Justice and Peace Network in London on Saturday, 11 May. The event was attended by members of both organisations from around the country and Pax Christi International's new General Secretary, based in Brussels, José Henríquez who comes from El Salvador.
The subject of Professor Beattie's lecture was Christian Pacifism, Just Wars and Drones.
Justice and Peace work nationally was celebrated on Saturday at the joint AGMs of the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) and Pax Christi, amidst worries that this mission is not more central to Catholic leaders in England and Wales. The day, at Holy Apostles parish hall in London’s Pimlico, was attended by more than 100 people from across England and Wales. NJPN administrator Ann Kelly, expressed “a lot of concern about the loss of J&P fieldworkers in dioceses” over the past year. “J&P is not being given any priority at diocesan level
During the week when the UK began its own remote operation of unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan (drones) hundreds took part in protests at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire where the UK’s Reaper drones will be operated. The protest, organised by the Drone Campaign Network (of which Pax Christi is a member), CND, Stop the War Coalition and War on Want, brought together hundreds of people concerned about the legality and morality of the use of Drones. Until now the operational base has been at a US base outside Las Vegas.
"The UK spends £39 billion a year on the military and arms, while vital services in health, education, welfare and renewable energy are cut or under threat". This was the concern raised at a meeting in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 15 April, when Pax Christi joined 38 other peace and development groups to challenge military spending in the UK and globally. Bruce Kent, vice-president of Pax Christi and founder of the Movement for the Abolition of War, chaired the meeting of around 80 people where speakers called for an immediate shift in
A clear message to cut military spending in favour of human needs was given outside Parliament this morning (Monday) as members of Pax Christi, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) and Movement for Abolition of War (MAW) took part in street-theatre and protest to mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. This morning the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released its Annual Report on military spending. Globally the world spent $1.75 trillion in 2012 - a decrease of 0.5%.
On the day when World Military Spending for 2013* will be announced, 39 organisations will come together to promote the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (15 April 2013). These include Pax Christi, the Columban Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation programme, the National Justice & Peace Network, Christian Ecology Link, Student Christian Movement, War on Want and Campaign Against Arms Trade. As organisations concerned with peace, social justice and environmental justice, they are calling for a new approach to our common security
Throughout April and May, Bruce Kent, Vice Chair of Pax Christi, will be hitting the road on behalf of CND, spreading the Scrap Trident message across England. He’s working with a range of different organisations to highlight the wasteful spending on Trident when so much investment is needed to eradicate poverty, boost people-friendly development and make our world a safer and more peaceful place to live. You can help out by asking your MP to sign EDM 96.
Pax Christi members joined with hundreds of people around the country at the traditional Easter protests at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, Berkshire on 1 April. Aldermaston is where the nuclear warheads for Trident are being processed. Christian CND organised a time of prayer at one of the gates on the theme Easter Resurrection Hope: Raising the Alleluia. A Buddhist monk and num from the Myohoji order offerd prayers and chanted and prayers from other faith traditions were shared.
Around 250 people braved blizzard conditions in London on Saturday morning to attend this year’s ecumenical service to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Held at St Martin in the Field's Church in Trafalgar Square, it was organised by the Archbishop Romero Trust and Pax Christi. The keynote speaker described Romero as “a great saint of our times”. The speaker was Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, the global Catholic peace movement, and a Pax Christi USA
Just two weeks after celebrating her 100 birthday Franziska Jaegerstaetter died peacefully, on 16 March, surrounded by her family in St Radegund, Austria. Pax Christi heard that, though weak and in bed, Franziska had much enjoyed the birthday greetings and cards. A message from Pax Christi UK was read out to her. She received congratulations from the Austrian President and from Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Pax Christi also sent a message which was read out in Linz cathedral at the celebration there on Sunday 3 March.
On the first day of Lent, a group of students from Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa, joined the annual Ash Wednesday Peace Walk in London, from Embankment Gardens to the Ministry of Defence. Mollie Edwards, from Year Ten, reflects on the day. She writes: We went on the peace walk to promote peace and a non-violent attitude throughout our school, to show that Trinity is not a community where violence is accepted, but a community where peace and a non-violent approach to life is rewarded and admired.
Peace campaigners have expressed grave concern over Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement that the government plan to divert some funds from the UK's 0.07% overseas aid budget to military projects. Bruce Kent former Chair of CND and vice-president of Pax Christi, said: "This is deplorable news. It all seems to be part of an agenda to re-militarise the country." ... "the amount of aid this country gives already is pitiful. Now Cameron even wants to take some of these funds. At the same time the government plans to spend £100 billion on renewing Trident.
More than 100 peace campaigners braved freezing temperatures in London on Ash Wednesday to pray and voice their opposition to war and nuclear weapons outside the Ministry of Defence. The group gathered in Embankment Gardens for the first part of the liturgy which included a call to repentance: 'Within weeks of the bombing of Coventry Cathedral in 1940, a wooden cross of charred timbers was set up, and in chalk on the wall was written 'Father, forgive'.
The British Section of Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace, has issued a statement outlining its concerns at the development and use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as Drones. Pax Christi is deeply concerned about the rapid growth in the development and use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles. In theory these might be used in a way that conforms to Just War teaching - such as a war declared by legitimate authority, with discrimination between combatants and civilians. However, UAVs are not
Parishes around the country are preparing to celebrate Peace Sunday with Pax Christi on 20 January. Writing to parishes, Bishop Malcolm McMahon, President of Pax Christi said: ""Pope Benedict's World Peace Day message for 2013 is Blessed are the Peacemakers. The message will affirm the Church's teaching on peace, from the great letter of Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris to the challenge offered by the Year of Faith, for us to seek out and hold up the 'credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord."
On Friday, the Campaign against Arms Trade, whose supporters include Pax Christi and other Christian peace groups, were presented with a 2012 Right Livelihood Award in the Swedish Parliament. CAAT's acceptance speech highlighted the hypocrisy of a UK government which claims to support human rights, while promoting weapons sales to repressive regimes. CAAT is one of the four recipients of the Award, known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize, together with Hayrettin Karaca, veteran environmentalist from Turkey, Sima Samar,
On 3 November, more than 140 people crowded into St Joseph’s Parish centre, Gateshead to hear first hand about the realities of daily life in the ‘Holy Land’ and to consider how injustice and conflict can be converted into a Just Peace so that, in the words of Nora Carmi a keynote speaker, that land “can once again become holy.” The day was organised by regional Ecumenical Accompaniers, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Justice & Peace & supported by North East Christian Churches.
Blessed are you peacemakers, who say no to war as a means to peace. Blessed are you peacemakers, who are committed to disarm weapons of mass destruction. Blessed are you peacemakers, who wage peace at heroic personal cost. Blessed are you peacemakers, who challenge and confront judges, courts & prisons. Blessed are the peacemakers, who help those who are hurting. Blessed are the peacemakers, who befriend perfect strangers. Blessed are the peacemakers, who open doors for acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with God and all people of good will....
Pax Christi members joined other Christian groups outside Church House Conference Centre in London today, the feast of All Saints, for Morning Prayer. The vigil was to ensure a critical presence outside a defence conference that had been sponsored by a number of arms companies including BAE Systems and General Atomic. Security staff from Westminster Abbey and from Church House Conference Centre tried to move the prayer vigil, stating that no protests could take place on Abbey property or private property. Those taking part insisted that it was quite legitimate
Pax Christi members will join others for a morning prayer service outside of Church House Conference Centre in London this Thursday, 1 November, All Saints Day. The purpose of the vigil and prayer time is to call on the Church of England to take a lead on opposing the arms trade by speaking up against any hosting of arms traders in conference facilities linked to the Church of England and by taking an active lead in opposing the use of drones.
Hundreds gathered at St George's Cathedral, in South London on Sunday for the closing Mass to celebrate the success of the 100 Days of Peace Legacy, a joint project of the Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster with Pax Christi, CAFOD and others. Among the congregation were five London mayors and the Brazillian ambassador. During his homily, Mgr John Armitage spoke of the strong human desire for peace whether it be among the people of Aleppo or parents of children murdered on our streets in London.
A premier of the documentary film: 'Globalized Soul: Stories from the Tipping Point to a New Humanity' will take place during a celebration marking the International Day for Nonviolence this Tuesday at The Tent, St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City of London. The Day, hosted by the Centre with Pax Christi, marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who encouraged many to work for nonviolent change. There will also be readings, reflections, prayers and food to share.
The discrepancy between 400 Palestinian deaths and 20 Israeli deaths over the period 2009 to July 2012 sadly highlights the injustice of the Israeli government’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, according to the General Secretary of Pax Christi UK. “If the Israeli government wants peace and security, the way they have approached it is irrational,” commented Pat Gaffney last Saturday, “for military occupation raises tension and conflict”. She was speaking at a study day ‘Untold Stories from Israel/Palestine – A Call to Action for Peace’, held at the Niland Conference Centre
The Pax Christi Icon of Peace is in Southwark Diocese on the last stage of its Olympic Peace journey. Seven parishes in Southwark Diocese are to host the Pax Christi Iconof Peace as part of their involvement in the 100 Days of Peace Olympic Peace Legacy. The Icon began its journey on 8 June at St Patrick's Parish, Wapping and has been in parishes in Westminster and Brentwood Diocese since then. The Icon, made for Pax Christi at the Monastery of St John outside Jerusalem, depicts the stories of peacemakers throughout the ages as well as presenting passages from Scripture
Twenty-five supporters joined Dr Ray Towey, 68, Henrietta Cullinan, 50, and Katrina Alton , 44, for a time of prayer outside Hammersmith Magistrates' Court today before a three-hour hearing which found them guilty of causing criminal damage. The three offered clear and moving accounts of their peace actions at the Ministry of Defence during Holy Week 2012 when they marked the building with blessed charcoal using words such as 'Trident Crucifies the Poor' and 'Disarm Trident'. Reports from arresting officers were read out in court which affirmed that there actions had been
totally nonviolent and that they had not resisted arrest in any way.
Ray Towey, Henrietta Cullinan and Katrina Alton will appear in Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court on Monday 3 September. They have been charged with Criminal Damage following their peace witness at the Ministry of Defence during Holy Week 2012. Their witness was a challenge to the UK’s nuclear weapons policy. They marked the building with blessed charcoal with the words 'Trident Crucifies the Poor' and 'Disarm Trident' and with simple crosses. Reflecting on the action Katrina Alton said:
Pax Christi Metro New York is hosting 'Nuclear Lies, Nuclear Truths' a lecture, silent procession, prayers and discussion to mark the 57th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this Sunday 5 August. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a few thoughtful Americans questioned the morality of the bombings. Alarmed by those questions, men such as Conant, Bundy, and Stimson went about creating an explanation of why atomic bombs were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The increasing using of drones in modern hi-tech warfare was challenged at seminar in London on 12 July organised by Pax Christi. Around 30 participants, representing Christian CND, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales International Department, Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Movement for the Abolition of War and others – heard speaker Chris Cole, Catholic Director of Drone Wars UK and author of Drone Wars Briefing, suggest they encourage a 'Playstation mentality'
Pax Christi has reported great interest from schools in Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood dioceses in the ‘100 days of Peace’ initiative which is building a peace legacy based on the ancient idea of an Olympic Games’ peace truce. Speaking at its AGM in Bristol on Saturday, Pax Christi’s General Secretary Pat Gaffney, announced that a vigil of prayer
Catholic groups were among around 60 people who held a vigil on Wednesday outside the Korean Embassy in Central London to urge that construction of a military base on the island of Jeju be halted. Pax Christi, National Justice & Peace Network, London Catholic Worker, Columban JPIC and Sisters of St Joseph of Peace were all
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi has written to the President of Korea appealing for him to stop the destruction of Jeju Island, a place of outstanding historic and natural beauty. The eleventh hour appeal comes as workers have begun to dynamite the area in order to build a naval base. Pax Christi and Columban JPIC will be taking part in a candle-lit
Pax Christi and Columban JPIC are taking part in a candle-lit vigil at the Korean Embassy in London next Wednesday 9 May, in solidarity with people of Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island who are demanding a halt to the building of a naval base. It will be held 2-5pm outside the Republic of Korea Embassy, 60 Buckingham Gate, London SW1.
Members of Campaign Against Arms Trade and Pax Christi and workers from BAE Systems Brough, were among those raising questions at the AGM of British Aerospace Systems in London today. British Aerospace Systems is now the second largest global defence supplier with 'home markets' in the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Australia and India.
Peace campaigners have voiced their concern over the fact that the Olympic organisers are planning to include the armed forces in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games - after agreeing to the traditional Olympic Truce. They have written the following open letter of protest to the organisers. An Open Letter to the Board of the London Organising
The British Section of Pax Christi today issued a statement setting out seven concrete steps which it is presenting to the UK Government, that could be taken to avert a war with Iran. Any talk of a pre-emptive attack, they say, must be challenged as illegal and immoral. In solidarity with the people of Iran and all peoples potentially threatened by nuclear weapons through accident,
Since the UN Security council vote on a resolution in support of the Arab League initiative for Syria violence has increased. The Syrian government interpreted the Russian and Chinese veto as a carte blanche to repress the uprising with violence. Since then, hundreds of civilians have been killed on top of the thousands of earlier killings. In this Syria Alert policy brief, The Dutch
Two separate services in London on Ash Wednesday afternoon caused Christians to reflect on how they see ‘security’. At the first, more than 100 peace campaigners held their 30th annual prayer vigil outside the Ministry of Defence in London’s Whitehall. Undeterred by light rainfall, they spelt out the word ‘Repent’ in ashes outside the main entrance, deploring the British
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has sent a message of support to Christian peace campaigners who are planning to hold a prayer vigil and demonstration outside the Ministry of Defence on Ash Wednesday. Cardinal O'Brien writes: "I am firm in my belief that in making this protest you are in excellent company - following on the leadership of
Christian peace campaigners will begin Lent on Ash Wednesday by holding their 30th prayer vigil outside the Ministry of Defence. For thirty years, young and old, lay and religious, retired folk, students, parents, missionaries, academics, doctors, teachers, peace-workers have been among those who have made the deep connection between their own lives, their faith, personal
There is a great opportunity to begin the New Year with celebrating Peace Sunday on 15 January 2012. The theme of Pope Benedict’s World Peace Day message is, 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace'. In his message, Pope Benedict says: "Peace for all is the fruit of justice for all, and no one can shirk this essential task of promoting justice, according to
Pax Christi International has called on "all people of good will to do anything in their power to contribute to global peace and justice in general and biosecurity in particular." At a meeting today of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in Geneva, Pax Christi delegate Trevor Griffiths said: "In relation to biosecurity, the lives of substantial
Pax Christi members from Derby, Coventry, Southampton, St Albans and London took part in the Speaking Out for Palestine Lobby on 23 November at the House of Commons. The purpose was to bring grass-roots concerns about Palestine to members of Parliament. Two of the Pax Christi lobbyists were Ann Farr and Rosemary Read, both of whom have worked in Palestine as Ecumenical Accompaniers and brought their first-hand experiences
This year has brought new prospects for freedom in the Arab world. The massive movements in Tunisia and Egypt are cries for democracy. Early in this year, Muslims and Christians came together and prayed for change in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. While in the past, Pax Christi International made a call for wishes and prayers to send to the Christian communities in the Holy Land, this year they are asking us to send our stories of peace.
A talk given by Ellen Teague on 3 November 2011 at the Sacred Heart Church in Bilton, Rugby, as part of their series of talks ‘Living Faith and the Future of the Church’. These are some of my sisters in the Church in Britain: Pat Gaffney and Valerie Flessati, whose work with Pax Christi and on peace education over several decades has enhanced the British Church’s link into World Peace Day and promoted new initiatives such as peace gardens and a peace truce around the period of the Olympic Games.
A peace vigil is due to take place tomorrow, (Tuesday 25 October 2011 12 noon) at Shenstone UAV engine factory, near Lichfield. The factory is an Israeli owned factory that makes the engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) - like those used to kill and maim people in Gaza and now used in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The vigil, organised by Friends of Sabeel, West Midlands and Pax Christi will be followed by a half
The tenth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York takes place this Sunday, 11 September 2011. The day has been designated by churches of all denominations as 'Awareness Sunday' - an opportunity for remembrance, reconciliation and better relationships with those of other faiths as we recall the Christian values of love, forgiveness and respect. As believers, we are called to love our neighbours as
Over the next few days, around the world, Pax Christi members will be remembering the anniversaries of the first use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki through prayer, discussion and action. In the UK, vigils, exhibitions and stalls will be held in London, Coventry, Oxford, Abingdon and Aylesford,
Should the armed forces by given access to children within education? How can we challenge their activities in schools and colleges? How can a more balanced view of what life in the armed forces involves be given to young people? The Government is suggesting the expansion of cadet forces within state schools to encourage the military ‘spirit’ and that ex-soldiers mentor youngsters in schools.
Pax Christi members joined with Quakers and members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine & Israel at a vigil of readings, prayer and silence in central London to mark the fifth year of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel - an initiative of the World Council of Churches.
The World Council of Churches Week for Peace in Palestine/Israel takes place from 29 May to 4 June this year. Prayer leaflets are available from Pax Christi - contact: email@example.com. Some events in the UK and Ireland will be in the ICN Listings page.
The role of religion as a sources of conflict and resource for peace is the theme that guest speaker, Canon David Porter will address at the Pax Christi Annual Meeting in London on Saturday, 28 May. David Porter is currently Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral.
Canon David W Porter, Director for Reconciliation Ministry, Coventry Cathedral will speak at Pax Christi's Annual General Meeting at Holy Apostles Parish Hall, Pimlico, London on 28 May. David has thirty years experience in community relations and peacebuilding in regional, national and international faith-based organisations.
Vocation for Justice, the Justice and Peace newsletter of the Columban Missionary Society, is celebrating 25 Years of production this year. The occasion is being marked by a special commemorative issue and an event at Heythrop College, London, on the evening of Friday, 13 May. The event will be chaired by Bishop William Kenney,
As the situation in Japan continues to unfold, get worse (the state of alert is now equivalent to the incident at Chernobyl), and send ripples world-wide, Pax Christi USA has prepared the following resources for prayer, study and action.
Pax Christi members joined with thousands of trade union groups, the National Justice & Peace Network,Young Christian Workers, Church Action of Poverty and others on the March for the Alternative, to help make the connection between military spending and spending on welfare and human security. More than 250,000 people are estimated to have taken part
With deep concern we watch the escalation of the use of military force against the regime of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. While this is supported by the authority of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 our fears are that the human and longer-term political costs of this action may be deep and difficult to resolve.
Christian peace groups marked Ash Wednesday with their annual Liturgy of Resistance and Repentance for Nuclear War Preparations at the Ministry of Defence in Central London yesterday. Five members of the London Catholic Workers, including Passionist priest Martin Newall, marked the building with the words ‘Repent’ and ‘Trident is Sin’, using blessed ash.
An ecumenical peace prayer vigil will take place outside the Ministry of Defense on Wednesday 9 March. Sponsored by Pax Christi, Christian CND, and London Catholic Worker, the annual gathering will oppose the MoD’s preparation for the deployment of weapons of mass destruction.
A year ago this month, Pax Christi and the Fellowship of Reconciliation launched their Security for the Common Good : A Christian Challenge to Military Security briefing, highlighting all the human and opportunity costs that are lost in the military model of security adopted by our Government. Part of the briefing dealt with our role in ‘exporting security’ via the global arms trade.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood are promoting One Hundred Days of Peace, to develop a peace legacy for the London Olympic Games in 2012. The initiative springs from a collaboration among the Justice and Peace Offices of the dioceses of Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood together with Pax Christi, CAFOD, and the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.
This week, the world witnessed events unfold in Egypt, with millions of people peacefully taking to the streets to demand the justice, basic freedom and human rights they have so long been denied. Ordinary men and women are at long last seeking to assert their identity and retrieve their dignity after decades of corruption, deprivation and subjugation.
The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) has begun promoting a series of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, with itineraries that do not include Bethlehem, Hebron or Jericho. Instead, parts of illegally annexed East Jerusalem do feature, including the controversial 'King David's City' controlled by the Elad settlers.
There was standing room only at Pax Christi's annual Advent Service at St Aloysius in Euston on Monday. Catholic songwriter and liturgist Bernadette Farrell lead the prayers and music. During the service, prayers were said for a Pax Christi member from Coventry who is travelling to Palestine today to spend three months volunteering with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme
A Pax Christi delegation from England is visiting the Holy Land this week. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary has sent this letter from Bethhelem. The checkpoint gate was closed when we arrived at Bethlehem on Monday evening. After our drive from Tel Aviv, this should have been the last part of our journey, through the tourist gate of the huge terminal/checkpoint that divides Bethlehem from Israel.
A Mass to mark 30th anniversary of the the deaths of four women missionaries killed in El Salvador will take place at the Church of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London W1 on 4 December at 11am. The Celebrant will be Fr Michael Campbell-Johnston. Therese Osborne, a member of Viatores Christi in Dublin, who was a co-worker with Jean and Dorothy in El Salvador will give an address.
The 2010 Strategic Defence Review is a huge disappointment to those who had hoped for a radical change in Government understanding of defence and security. The Review provided an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate security policies and redirect financial, research and personnel resources to the real security needs of the day
The Army is putting too much pressure on charities by expecting them to care for 5,000 wounded troops, according to Tony Banks, an ex-paratrooper and campaigner for services charity Combat Stress. "Until now, troops wounded in Afghanistan but medically unfit for service have been given desk jobs or light duties," said Mr Banks,
Catholics were among 21,000 participants in the colourful Greenbelt Christian Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend at Cheltenham Racecourse, but more could be supporting it, according to Bruce Kent, the Vice-Chair of Pax Christi UK. “Busloads of parish groups should go to Greenbelt” he said,
Messages of peace, hope and encouragement written to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, formed part of Pax Christi's annual Hiroshima Anniversary vigil outside Westminster Cathedral today. One said: "I feel bad now that in 1945 I was only thankful that the war was over... it was a few years before I really understood the horror of what brought it to an end.
Around 80 members of Pax Christi, the Catholic peace organisation, attended its Annual Meeting at Blackfriars in Oxford on Saturday, 19 June. They heard youth worker Matt Jeziorski report that nearly 850 young people have attended Pax Christi peace education workshops this year and that there will be more outreach with university students over the coming months.
Richard Moore, a man blinded by a rubber bullet in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972, will be sharing his inspiring story at St Ethelburga's Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in the City of London this Wednesday. Mr Moore, who was shot by a British soldier when he was just 10, went on to found Children in Crossfire to help other children across the world who are caught in conflict.
A week of activities around Pax Christi's Icon of Peace begins on Monday at St Ethelburga's Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, 78 Bishopsgate, London EC2 4AG. There will be daily guided meditation with the Icon between 12.30 - 1pm.
Catholic peace movement Pax Christi issued the following statement this afternoon: Pax Christi is deeply shocked at the dramatic military actions of the Israeli Defence Forces against the Gaza Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been killed and injured.
'William Hague's recent admission that the UK has an additional 65 non-operational nuclear warheads available, should spur Christians to be more committed than ever to campaigning with our new coalition government for nuclear weapons abolition' - Pax Christi said in a statement today.
A network of individuals and groups, including Pax Christi, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Justice not Vengeance, Movement for the Abolition of War and Coventry Deanery Justice & Peace Group has written to Sir John Chilcot, urging that the Iraq Inquiry investigate the financial costs to the UK of the Iraq War as an essential aspect of the fulfillment of the Inquiry's remit.
As the UK general election approaches, many Catholic organisations have drawn up reflections and briefings for people to consider, before they cast their vote. Links to a few of these are listed below:
Presenting peace history creatively was one of the strong features of Pax Christi's contribution to the annual Movement for the Abolition of War Peace History Conference, held at the Imperial War Museum in London on 16 and 17 April. Valerie Flessati, a peace historian and vice-president of Pax Christi,
Peace campaigners on both sides of the Atlantic have welcomed the news, announced on Friday, that President Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, have agreed a treaty to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
The Network of Christian Peace Organisations, of which Pax Christi is one of 25 members, has produced a briefing for Christians to use in preparation for the forthcoming General Election. It covers four areas: The Middle East, the Arms Trade, Nuclear Proliferation and Military Spending.
As a way of showing solidarity with Palestinians some dioceses in the UK have been using Palestinian olive oil for the Chrism Service in Holy Week and for services that include anointing. 75% of Palestinians live in poverty and often over half the countries olive harvest goes unsold and spoils due to the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation of the land.
Bishop Thomas McMahon, vice-president of Pax Christi and Bishop of Brentwood Diocese, joined people from other faith traditions at a peace service at the faith gate of the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment this morning (15 February).
The annual liturgy of Repentance and Resistance to nuclear war preparations will take place in London at 3pm on Ash Wednesday, 17 February. The gathering will meet in Embankment Gardens and process to the Ministry of Defence, in Horseguards Avenue where a liturgy with prayers, songs
Christian peace groups from all denominations will be joining hundreds of campaigners next Monday, to block access to every gate of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston in Berkshire. The blockade, initiated by Trident Ploughshares (TP) is supported by Pax Christi, Christian CND and the Catholic Worker movement,
Pax Christi International has expressed deep condolences and solidarity with the people of Haiti following the recent earthquake and calls for prayers and prompt support in the relief efforts. Some Pax Christi members are safe. Others are known to have died, while still more are missing.
Christian peace organisations Pax Christi and Fellowship of Reconciliation are urging Church leaders to join their call for resources to be devoted to human rather than military security. The call, entitled: 'Addressing the real wounds of the human family: a call to action' comes as the government launches a Strategic Defence Review
Around the country, in schools, prayer groups, parishes and families, Pax Christi members and friends are sending messages to the people of Bethlehem for Christmas. This is part of a project that began some years ago with Pax Christi partners the Arab Educational Institute. I
The 2009 Coventry International Price for Peace and Reconciliation was awarded to Bruce Kent, former Chair of CND and vice-president of Pax Christi on Saturday 14 November in Coventry Cathedral. The ceremony takes place each year on the anniversary of the bombing of the City and Cathedral. This year marked the 69th anniversary.
MPs, peacemakers, singers and scripture scholars are among those speaking and performing at a weekend celebration in London, which aims to connect Christians in the Holy Land with the Churches in the UK. More than 20 organisations including Amnesty International, Olive Aid, the Jerusalem Eye Hospital and Bethlehem University
Representatives of Pax Christi, CAFOD and Westminster Diocese Justice and Peace Commission attended the funeral on 22 October of Justice and Peace activist Kathy Wicks, who died a week earlier aged 79, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It was held at St Paul the Apostle Church
Peace campaigners will walk 20 miles across London this weekend (17-18 October) to link in with a three-month global initiative called the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. Supporters of the walk include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the vice chair of Pax Christi, Bruce Kent,
An international Pax Christi delegation visited Iraq last week. They went to Kirkuk, Mosul, Erbil and Dohuk from 10 September to 17 September. The situation for the Iraqi people is very uncertain and more violence being expected in the period leading up to the elections in January 2010.
News that President Obama has decided to abandon the 'Star Wars' Missile Defence project in Poland and the Czech republic has been welcomed by peace groups and churches. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary Pax Christi said the organisation "welcomes this 'smart diplomacy' decision of President Obama.
News that President Obama has decided to abandon the 'Star Wars' Missile Defence project in Poland and the Czech republic has been welcomed by peace groups and churches.
The World Council of Churches and Pax Christi have welcomed the news that US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have reached an outline agreement to cut back their nations' stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
Sr Alicia Vacas, a Comboni Missionary Sister and nurse, and Miri Weingarten, an advocacy worker, took part in a Physicians for Human Rights delegation to Gaza in January.
Pax Christi UK’s work for peace has been applauded by the vice-president of Pax Christi International, Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg Diocese in South Africa.
On the sixth anniversary of the start of war with Iraq on 20 March, Christian peace campaigners are planning to gather at Downing Street for a vigil.
On the sixth anniversary of the start of war with Iraq on 20 March, Christian peace campaigners are planning to gather at Downing Street for a vigil.
Richard Moore, a man blinded by a rubber bullet in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972, will be sharing his inspiring story with Westminster school students at a gathering organised by Pax Christi on 23 March.
Christian anti-nuclear campaigners will meet in London later tomorrow (Ash Wednesday) to participate
A Pax Christi delegation is setting off on a six-day visit to Israel-Palestine today.
Pax Christi is encouraging members and friends to participate in the 'Stop the Massacre : Israel Out of Gaza' National demonstration
Pax Christi has asked us to share with you the following opportunities to respond in prayer and action to the current crisis in Gaza and Israel.
Bernadette Farrell will lead the singing at Pax Christi's annual carol service this evening at St Aloysius Church, Euston.
This summer five members of Pax Christi British Section went to volunteer in the Pax Christi Peace Pavillion in Lourdes.