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Quakers in Australia

Testimonies - Peace

The Issue: Rethinking Just War Theory

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Last week amidst the news of the Pope's latest message on the family, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International hosted a conference titled "Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence."
The three day encounter brought together some 80 theologians and peace activists from many conflict zones, including Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, Colombia, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The goal of the conference was to explore ways in which their positive experiences of non-violent activism can shape theological thinking and Catholic teaching in schools, universities, seminaries and parishes, moving away from 'Just War' towards the concept of a 'Just Peace'.
In a message sent to the meeting Pope Francis praised the initiative of "revitalising the tools of nonviolence".
Around the world it raised headlines suggesting that the Catholic Church was moving to shift ground on one of it's most venerable teachings, the Just War Doctrine. So on this eve of ANZAC day, marking Australians participation in the War to End Wars, we are taking a look at just what sort of new thinking may be on the horizon http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s4449459.htm

 

Quaker Peace Activism

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have been advocating peace for 350 years. We sent delegations to the Sultan of Turkey, to Hitler, and (most recently) to John Howard asking them to reconsider their actions.

We have driven ambulances and fed the starving on both sides in many conflicts. We send people into the midst of conflicts all over the world, to help find out what is REALLY going on and to do whatever presents itself to help build a peace that 'takes away the occasion of all wars'.

Issues of national security and international trade relations are complex and difficult, but it is hard to see how they can be helped by a military engagement (from an article by David Johnson, of the Australian Campaign Against the Arms Trade).

Quakers make their opposition to war known through peaceful protests and silent vigils in public places. Regular vigils are held in capital cities, and all are welcome.

  • Brisbane, first Friday of each month, 5–6pm in King George Square.
  • In Melbourne, every Monday midday, on the steps of the old General Post Office in Burke Street.

Quakers are involved in many peace organisations and activities —

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