Mennonites and Catholics make joint peace commitment

By staff writers
25 Jul 2008

The Vatican's Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Mennonite World Conference representatives who met in Rome in October 2007 to prepare theological reflections on peacemaking have made available the full statement and background material, reports Catholic Peacemaking Network News

The purpose of the gathering was that Mennonites and Catholics, committed to overcoming violence, might affirm together as a witness to peace in the ecumenical context. The resulting document entitled: “A Mennonite and Catholic Contribution to the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence” is available of the Bridgefolk website - an initiative to promote good relations between the two traditions. See: http://www.bridgefolk.net/theology/

Following up on their 1998-2003 dialogue and a ground-breaking document, 'Called Together to Be Peacemakers', Mennonite and Catholic leaders met together for a brief conference from 23-25 October 2007 in order to offer joint suggestions for the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV).

The DOV will culminate in an International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in 2011.

More recently, in a different initiative, the London Mennonite Theology Forum and Church & Peace in Europe met at the Ammerdown Centre in Bath, England, to discuss a peace church response to the United Nations 'Responsibility to Protect' initiative aimed at those facing extreme threats. This has been backed in a qualified way by the WCC.

The gathering supported a wide range of non-violent methods to avert and control massacres and violence against civilians, but urged that the military component be looked at more critically - since the history of interventions suggests that militarism is part of the problem rather than the solution in a wider framework.

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Available from Ekklesia: 118 Days: Christian Peacemaker Teams Held Hostage in Iraq, edited by Tricia Gates Brown (CPT, 2008) - http://tinyurl.com/3z6pqm

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