All Catholics against militarism are invited to an event at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Sandy Springs (Atlanta) Georgia on May 2. This will be a one-day conference called “Gospel Nonviolence: The Great Failure, The Only Hope” presented by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. All are welcome to attend, listen, and reflect.
It seems most of us Catholics learn precious little about either tradition in the Church when it comes to dealing with conflict. I, for one, have never heard the word “nonviolence” mentioned in a Catholic Church! I often hear the term “just war” thrown around. It is important to learn about both of these traditions, I think.
Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy received his B.A. and two M.A. degrees from the University of Notre Dame and his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Boston College. He taught at the University of Notre Dame where he founded The Program for the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution and he is also co-founder of Pax Christi-USA. For twenty-five years he served as Spiritual Director and/or Rector of St. Gregory the Theologian Byzantine-Melkite Catholic Seminary.
For over forty years he has directed retreats and spoken at conferences throughout the world on the issue of faith and violence. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work on behalf of peace within and among people. He is author of several books and his series BEHOLD THE LAMB is almost universally considered to be the most spiritually profound presentation on the matter of Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies available on CD/DVD.
Please spread the word to anyone in the Atlanta area who might be interested in attending.
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“For Christians, Holy Week is the most meaningful and most significant week of the liturgical year…The primal spiritual encounter of Holy Week—between Satan and God, evil and good, the lie and the truth, death and life, total destruction and total salvation—takes place on the historical plane as an encounter between violence and nonviolence, violent hate and nonviolent love, violent justice and nonviolent righteousness, violent retribution and nonviolent forgiveness, violent mercilessness and non violent mercy, violent wounding and nonviolent healing, violent power and the power of nonviolence, violent holy men and a nonviolent Holy Man, violent people and a nonviolent person, the violence of the secular and the religious kingdoms of this world and the nonviolence of the Kingdom of God, the violent Prince of this world and the nonviolent Prince of Peace, violent monotheism and nonviolent monotheism, the violent Cain and the nonviolent Christ, the violent sword and the nonviolent cross. Jesus does not suffer and die quietly, in bed, from medical problems associated with old age—and there must be a reason in the Redemptive Plan of God through Jesus Christ for this.
Holy Week is situated and saturated in a life-and-death battle between violence and nonviolence. Take the violence of humanly planned and executed torture and murder out of Holy Week, and there is no Holy Week. Take Jesus’ Nonviolent Love of all, of enemies and of friends, of His torturers and of His murderers, out of Holy Week and there is no Holy Week. Only God can author authentic revelation. If we do not choose to accept His Word as He communicated it, then we have no access to authentic revelation, which means we have no access to its power and wisdom.
So why do bishops, priests, ministers, and pastors refuse—almost universally, and almost universally in the spirit of willful obstinacy—to talk about, much less focus on, nonviolence, or its derivatives, e.g., nonviolent love, in their sermons about Holy Week during Holy Week?”
-Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy