The Biblical concept of peace goes beyond the absence of conflict. It is a state of wholeness or well being both at the personal and the communal levels. Peace comes from living in right relationship with God, oneself, others, and the whole of creation.
Catholic teaching makes a strong presumption against the use of force, but also considers the use of force acceptable as a last resort in certain limited circumstances. It contains both non violent and just war strands.
Syria: Christians flee rebel areas as fatwa authorises rape of non-Sunni women
The conquest of the Cheikh Maksoud district in Aleppo, by the anti-Assad militia, could mark a turning point in the battle for the city, a priest has reported.
South Korea: bishops launch nationwide prayers for peace
As tensions build on the Korean peninsular, the Korean Bishops Conference has launched a campaign of prayers for reconciliation throughout all dioceses. Mgr Peter Kang, Bishop of Cheju and President of the Episcopal Conference of Korea has also appealed to Pope Francis to intervene in the developing political and military crisis. Bishop Kang said: "The dominant feeling in the South Korean people is not so much fear but rather anguish and bitterness due to this agonizing situation.
The white poppy
The white poppy is an international symbol of remembrance for all the casualties of war, civilians and armed forces personnel, and of peace. Believed to have been first produced by the Co-operative Women's Guild in Britain in 1933, white poppies are worn in many countries as an alternative to the red poppy, some people see the white poppy as complementary to the red which commemorates soldiers who died in war and some choose to wear both poppies.
Speaking for peace in Norway
Peace activist John Dear SJ with actor Martin Sheen
This civic forum on nuclear weapons preceded the global gathering of representatives from more than 130 nations invited here by the government of Norway to discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons - possibly the first time for an international conference seeking to abolish nuclear weapons.
Followup nuke-ban meeting for Mexico
The historic Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons has ended with the announcement of a follow-up meeting to be hosted by Mexico. A wide range of states and organisations agreed that an understanding of the global humanitarian consequences of nuclear detonations should be the starting point for urgent action to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
Easter the pinnacle of all
At an Easter service in Texas on Easter Sunday, football star Tim Tebow called Easter ‘our Super Bowl’. Well, sorry, Tim, writes American peace activist John Dear SJ, but I think the resurrection of the nonviolent Jesus is beyond any football analogy. During my speaking tour about my new book Lazarus, Come Forth!, I've been talking about resurrection in terms of active nonviolence. killed at least ten times that number.
Myths of wartime good and evil
Zac Alstin for Eureka Street, August 14, 2011
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are only the most visible, most memorable, and therefore most culturally significant of the bomb attacks on civilian targets that characterised the Second World War. The Luftwaffe bombing campaign over England claimed more than 40,000 lives, yet the Allied campaign over Germany and occupied Europe is believed to have killed at least ten times that number.
World Day of Peace January 1, 2011
The World Day of Peace is observed on January 1st, which is also the Solemnity of the Mother of God. The theme for 2011 will be "Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace." For more on the launch of this event, and information on past themes, see
Violence in Australia: a message of peace
Social Justice Sunday is celebrated on September 26. This year's statement
Access the statement here
Student and Teacher resources
Witnessing to Peace in a Violent World
Ecumenical resources from the National Council of Churches in Australia.
Peace and non-violence
The website of the American peace activist Father John Dear SJ contains resources on peace and non-violence for liturgy, prayer, social justice and more.
If you Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation
Benedict XVI's message for the World Day of Peace 2010.
Five Stars of Peace powerpoint highlighting themes from the message.
“It is our clear duty, then, to strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent.”
Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n 82
“If peace is to be established, the primary requisite is to eradicate the causes of dissension between [people]. Wars thrive on these, especially on injustice ...”
Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n 83
Catholic Social Teaching
Stories And Reflections
Prayer And Liturgy
Tools For Action