Pax Christi materials for Remembrance

By staff writers
November 3, 2014

Our colleagues at Pax Christi UK, part of the international Catholic peace movement, have put out a statement following consultation with members, and a link to resources around Remembrance.

General Secretary Pat Gaffney writes:

“There is nothing glorious about war and no room for triumphalism or nationalism. This is one of the messages that Pax Christi members have shared in recent months, contributing to ideas and resources that ensure that a peace message is central to Remembrance and First World War Commemorations

“Pax Christi asked its members what tone, language and symbols are appropriate to the way we remember the First World War? What distinctive peace message do we want to convey? Central to the responses has been the plea that in our remembrance of all those who have and continue to have their lives taken by war we must work to end war and the causes of war. Our liturgies and acts of remembrance should be occasions of lamentation and repentance.

“When we begin to acknowledge the real costs of war in human, social and economic terms we also begin to see our complicity in war. For Pax Christi this includes the UK's on-going involvement in the global arms trade, the development of new war technology such as armed unmanned aerial vehicles, Drones and the UKs policy of recruiting under-18s into the armed forces, the only country in Europe to do so today.

“As an international movement for peace Pax Christi stresses the importance of reflecting the international dimension of war, past and present, as there are no boundaries in the suffering of war. In ceremonies or litanies for the war-dead Pax Christi urge that civilians, medics, peacemakers, aid workers, conscientious objectors, journalists as well as military personnel be remembered and named.

“One strand of Pax Christi's work over the past year has been to tell the lesser known stories of the peacemakers, including the 16,000 conscientious objectors, at least 90 of whom were Catholics. Pax Christi has information on these men which it can make available for people to research further.”

* A full listing of Pax Christi resources, prayers, homilies and visuals can be found here: http://paxchristi.org.uk/news-and-events/first-world-war-peace-plans/

* More on Remembrance from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/remembrance

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