War and Violence
St. Ignatius called Jesuits “soldiers of Christ,” though they were to “help souls.” Indeed “…Peace in the world must come from within. Peace will come if we stay connected to God, and find God in everything, in all things. If we want peace on earth, we first must be willing to reconcile ourselves with God.” Carrying on Ignatius’ fervent and dedicated obedience, the Society continues to work towards the justice and peace promised in God’s Kingdom.
As John Paul II narrowed the scope of what could be considered a just war to wars of humanitarian intervention and self-defense, the United States found itself the world’s sole superpower. Now engaged in a global war on terror without an end in sight, the Jesuit Conference in the US seeks to analyze the US’ use of force and its influence on conflicts elsewhere. The Conference will focus on conflicts in Colombia, the Middle East, and human rights policies and torture.
At the request of Colombian Jesuits, the Jesuit Conference has worked since 1997 to move the US’s Plan Colombia towards a more balanced approach to resolving the conflict there: peacebuilding through human rights and development effort, rather than merely military aid. Our work in Colombia (link to complete page) will continue in collaboration with the Oregon Province.
As the conflict in the Middle East develops, we will continue to monitor US policy. Catholics trying to grapple with the just response to the current conundrum in Iraq can look forward to our series on that concern.
For more on war and peace, please see:
- Peace issue of In All Things (2005).
- John Kleiderer, Paula Minaert, and Mark Mossa. Just War, Lasting Peace: What Christian Traditions Can Teach Us. Orbis books, NY: 2005.