The Pope’s message of non-violence

January 5th 2017

As a lifelong Catholic, engaged in justice and peace for most of my adult life, it was with great joy that I heard the Pope would be using message for World Peace Day to discuss nonviolence.

There is so much to cherish in the Pope’s wise words. His understanding of the damage violence does, and his recognition of the powerful nature of nonviolent direct action, citing the examples of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and the less well known but equally important Leymah Gbowee and other Liberian women.

‘Such efforts on behalf of the victims of injustice and violence are not the legacy of the Catholic Church alone, but are typical of many religious traditions, for which “compassion and nonviolence are essential elements pointing to the way of life”.   I emphatically reaffirm that “no religion is terrorist”.   Violence profanes the name of God.   Let us never tire of repeating: “The name of God cannot be used to justify violence.  Peace alone is holy.  Peace alone is holy, not war!”.

Indeed. A welcome start to 2017 and a huge inspiration for all of us engaged in working for peace.

Virginia Moffatt

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