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The Rome Conference on Nonviolence: A Turning Point in History


The Rome Conference on Nonviolence: A Turning Point in History

Mairead Maguire

It was a joy for me to join eighty people from around the world meeting in Rome from April 11th to the 14th at the “Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence.” Members of the three day event co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Catholic Peace Movement Organization, Pax Christi, strongly called on Pope Francis “to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and Just Peace,” and on the Church to “no longer use or teach ‘just war theory’ and to continue advocating “for the


This is so profound, so timely, and so necessary:

“I hope that Pope Francis will call upon Catholics not to join the military and remind them that killing cannot be with Christ. I believe the misguided age of “blessing wars, militarism and killing” must end. The responsibility lies with Pope Francis and all religious/spiritual leaders to be true shepherds of peace, nonviolence and nonkilling, to help us follow the command of Jesus to love our enemies and not kill each other.”

If the world’s billion Catholics (including those inside the U.S. militarized “homeland”) hear and heed this call, it would work as a bulwark against the Protestant call TO battle.

Many don’t understand just how pervasive Evangelical Christians have become inside the U.S. armed forces, The Air Force, in particular. Many of these individuals are completely under thrall to the idea of End Times; and as faith-based true believers, are sure that a Holy War is part of “The Plan.”

For years I’ve pointed out that the inversion of Christ’s teachings to SUPPORT war and killing are the metaphorical equivalent of the anti-Christ. When people think “God is on their side” they’re capable of doing the most vile things…

The Air Force chaplains’ job is to eviscerate the operational consciences of those Drone Pilots and others who might otherwise be hesitant to MURDER innocent “enemy combatants” (i.e. those merely living in and seeking to defend their own home territories).

This Pope is truly inspired by Christ. And that’s a wonderful thing.


Nothing has inspired me more since becoming aware of this inspirational Rome Conference’s progression. With all my mind and heartfelt strength I wish Pope Francis ‘Holy Courage’!

Needless to say,I’m happy to endorse everything Souixrose has just written for comment.


However " so profound, so timely, and so necessary" the tragic reality of history is that the presence any religion within culture, proclaiming ‘peace, justice and goodwill towards men’ has not even made a dent in war, conflict, violence and injustice that infects our world, modern or ancient. And while such direction is indeed necessary more now than ever before, this conference, like so many before will do nothing towards accomplishing such ends. And the RCC has too much blood and injustice on its own hands and history to be a credible sponsor to such idealism. The Promise of the Incarnation intended some different, but that Promise remains unrealized. And any institutional wishful thinking won’t change that.

What constrains the highest of human aspirations is rarely imagined. But the failure of religion to offer that path to certain progress has led me to wonder for myself what the RCC or any related tradition has to do with God, if anything. And that unanswered question is why I left the church many years ago, to seek progress elsewhere!


Sadly, the presence of religion within culture often provides the justification for conflict, violence, injustice… Oh, and genocide, too. Think of the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, the European conquest of the Americas, Palestine, etc.


I agree with you that Ms. Maguire is an inspiration, as is Pope Francis. It remains to be seen, though, how their witness can stop the run up to another World War, this time involving nuclear weapons, massive civilian casualties, and the destruction of our environment.

Don’t you think it’s odd that the least religious candidate running for president is also our best hope to pull us back from the brink?