Pax Christi

Last updated

Pax Christi International is an international Catholic Christian peace movement. The Pax Christi International website declares its mission is "to transform a world shaken by violence, terrorism, deepening inequalities, and global insecurity." [1]

Catholic peace traditions

Catholic peace traditions begin with its biblical and classical origins to the current practice in the 21st century. Because of its long history and breadth of geographical and cultural diversity, this Catholic tradition encompasses many strains and influences of both religious and secular peacemaking and many aspects of Christian pacifism, just war and nonviolence.


Pax Christi International Logo Pax Christi International logo.jpg
Pax Christi International Logo


Pax Christi protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq. (Washington, D.C., March, 2008). Pax Christi supporting peace and protesting war.jpg
Pax Christi protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq. (Washington, D.C., March, 2008).

Pax Christi (Latin for Peace of Christ) was established in France in 1945 through the inspiration of Marthe Dortel-Claudot and Bishop Pierre-Marie Théas. Both were French citizens interested in reconciliation between French and German citizens in the aftermath of World War II. [2] Some of the first actions of Pax Christi were the organisation of peace pilgrimages and other actions fostering reconciliation between France and Germany. Although Pax Christi initially began as a movement for French-German reconciliation, it expanded its focus and spread to other European countries in the 1950s. It grew as “a crusade of prayer for peace among all nations.” [3]

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.0 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Pax Christi was recognized as “the official international Catholic peace movement” by Pope Pius XII in 1952. [4]

It also had chapters in the United States. In the 1960s, it became involved in Mississippi in organizing economic boycotts of businesses that discriminated against blacks, in an effort to support protesters in the civil rights movement, who were trying to end discrimination in facilities and employment. It was active in Greenwood, Mississippi, among other places.

Greenwood, Mississippi City in Mississippi, United States

Greenwood is a city in and the county seat of Leflore County, Mississippi, located at the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta, approximately 96 miles north of the state capital, Jackson, Mississippi, and 130 miles south of the riverport of Memphis, Tennessee. It was a center of cotton planter culture in the 19th century.

In 1983, Pax Christi International was awarded the UNESCO Peace Education Prize. [5]

The UNESCO Prize for Peace Education has been awarded annually since 1981. The main goal of UNESCO education price is to encourange excellent effort in the drive to reach a better quality education. The prize is endowed up to 60 000 US dollars and honours extraordinary activities for peace education in the spirit of the UNESCO constitution.

The Pax Christi network membership is made up of 18 national sections and 115 Member Organizations working in over 50 countries.[ citation needed ]

Peace work

Pax Christi focuses on five main issues: human rights, human security, disarmament and demilitarisation, just world order, and religion and peace. [6]


Pax Christi is made up of national sections of the movement, affiliated organizations and partner organizations. Its International Secretariat is in Brussels. Pax Christi has consultative status as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations. [7]

International Presidents of Pax Christi

In 2007, a co-presidency was created, a bishop and a lay woman. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is the name used by a number of religious nonviolent organizations, particularly in English-speaking countries. They are linked by affiliation to the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR).

Claudette Werleigh was Prime Minister of Haïti from November 7, 1995 to March 6, 1996. She was Haiti's first female Prime Minister.

International Peace Bureau international organization

The International Peace Bureau (IPB), founded in 1891, is one of the world's oldest international peace federations.

John Dear Catholic priest from the United States

John Dear is an American Catholic priest, Christian pacifist, vegetarianism advocate, author and lecturer, and a former member of the Society of Jesus. He has been arrested over 75 times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against war, injustice and nuclear weapons as part of his "consistent ethic of nonviolence". Dear has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, in January 2008 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and most recently with Leo Rebello for the 2015 award.

Thomas Gumbleton Roman Catholic bishop and activist

Thomas John Gumbleton is a retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

On 10 November 1998, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first decade of the 21st century and the third millennium, the years 2001 to 2010, as the International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

Mary Bastian Sri Lankan Tamil priest

Father Mary Bastian was a minority Tamil Human Rights activist and local Roman Catholic parish priest from Sri Lanka. He was shot and killed along with 10 other civilians on January 6, 1985 as part of the Sri Lankan civil war allegedly by the Sri Lankan Army.

Pierre-Marie Théas was a French Roman Catholic Bishop of Montauban and Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. A significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism in France, he was recognised as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem for his efforts to protect Jews from the Nazi Holocaust.

Anti-nuclear organizations may oppose uranium mining, nuclear power, and/or nuclear weapons. Anti-nuclear groups have undertaken public protests and acts of civil disobedience which have included occupations of nuclear plant sites. Some of the most influential groups in the anti-nuclear movement have had members who were elite scientists, including several Nobel Laureates and many nuclear physicists.

Hildegard Goss-Mayr is an Austrian nonviolent activist and Christian theologian.

The International Salon for Peace Initiatives is organized in the framework of the International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001–2010) declared by the United Nations in 1998. Organized by the French Coalition for the Decade, it has been taken place in Paris every two years since 2004.

Pax Romana (organization) international organization

Pax Romana is an international lay Catholic movement. It combines the representation of two movements with similar interests and goals, the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs and the International Movement of Catholic Students . These two groups operate independently, but share the common name of Pax Romana in representation at the United Nations and UNESCO.

The World Day of Peace is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to universal peace, held on 1 January, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Pope Paul VI established it in 1967, being inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris of Pope John XXIII and with reference to his own encyclical Populorum Progressio. The day was first observed on 1 January 1968.

Catholic social activism in the United States is the practical application of the notions of Catholic social teaching into American public life. Its roots can be traced to the 19th century encyclical Rerum novarum of Pope Leo XIII.

Jean Goss was a French nonviolent activist.

Religion and peacebuilding

Religion and peacebuilding refers to the study of religion's role in the development of peace. Scholars generally accept that religion has been, at different points in history, both advantageous and ruinous to the promotion of peace However, there have been many approaches to explaining this variability.

Laurien Ntezimana is a Rwandan Catholic theologian, sociologist and peace activist known for protecting Tutsi during the Rwandan genocide of 1994..


  1. "Why Pax Christi - Pax Christi".
  2. "History - Pax Christi".
  3. Pogorelc, Anthony J., Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics, 2003, Pg. 317
  4. Dennis, Marie, “Pax Christi International” Archived 2014-03-04 at the Wayback Machine , CMSM Forum, Summer 2008
  5. "Unesco Prize for Peace Education". Unesco. 9 March 1983 via Google Books.
  6. "Our Work - Pax Christi".
  7. "Our History". 1 January 2011.
  8. "History - Pax Christi".

Further reading