Ryan Hammill: Could Pope Francis Be Ready to Throw Out Just War Theory?

Cardinal Turkson celebrates Mass at Just Peace conference in Rome, April 2016 (Pax Christi International)
Cardinal Turkson celebrates Mass at Just Peace conference in Rome, April 2016 (Pax Christi International)

A shout out to Ryan Hammill who wrote a great post Could Pope Francis Be Ready to Throw Out Just War Theory? following up on the Catholics, Nonviolence, and Just Peace conference in Rome in April. Below are some of the quotes he included from me. Check here for more media round up on the conference.

But Rose Marie Berger, who wrote one of the background papers for the conference (and serves as an editor for Sojourners) remarked that the push to move past just war theory originated among people experiencing violence themselves.

“Too often the ‘just war theory’ has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war.”

“At our meeting in Rome in April we heard a clear call from Catholics in the majority world and in situations of extreme conflict that the Church’s teaching on war and peace was not only insufficient to the level of violence they are facing but it was, in some cases, contributing to that violence.”

She said she would welcome an encyclical on peace and nonviolence from Pope Francis.

“The church is thirsting for fresh teaching here and hungering for this conversation,” she said. An encyclical would not only “add to the church’s wisdom,” but also prompt a “world-wide conversation.”

“Pope Francis has made it clear that ‘peace’ is the third pillar of his legacy,” Berger said.

Read Ryan’s whole article.

 

World Faiths Meet in Rome: Climate Change is a ‘Moral and Religious Imperative for Humanity’

Maple-leaves-in-the-sunlight
World leaders met at the Vatican for a conference on climate change last week. They released a final statement, declaring that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality” and “its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity,” according to Vatican Radio.

All this is part of the run-up to the much anticipated encyclical by Pope Francis on climate change.

Below is an excerpt from the 28 April 2015 statement:

… We join together from many faiths and walks of life, reflecting humanity’s shared yearning for peace, happiness, prosperity, justice, and environmental sustainability. We have considered the overwhelming scientific evidence regarding human-induced climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the vulnerabilities of the poor to economic, social, and environmental shocks.

In the face of the emergencies of human-induced climate change, social exclusion, and extreme poverty, we join together to declare that:

Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity; In this core moral space, the world’s religions play a very vital role. These traditions all affirm the inherent dignity of every individual linked to the common good of all humanity. They affirm the beauty, wonder, and inherent goodness of the natural world, and appreciate that it is a precious gift entrusted to our common care, making it our moral duty to respect rather than ravage the garden that is our home; The poor and excluded face dire threats from climate disruptions, including the increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, heat waves, and rising sea levels;

The world has within its technological grasp, financial means, and know-how the means to mitigate climate change while also ending extreme poverty, through the application of sustainable development solutions including the adoption of low-carbon energy systems supported by information and communications technologies; The financing of sustainable development, including climate mitigation, should be bolstered through new incentives for the transition towards low-carbon energy, and through the relentless pursuit of peace, which also will enable the shift of public financing from military spending to urgent investments for sustainable development; … [read the rest here]

Read more on the forthcoming encyclical”

With Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change Done, Now a Vatican Sales Push – and Pushback by Andrew C. Revkin

Integral ecology and the horizon of hope: concern for the poor and for creation in the ministry of Pope Francis by Cardinal Peter Turkson

Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical – What Can We Expect? by Henry Longbottom, SJ