Category Archives: J&P Europe

“EU action to combat money laundering and organised crime”

Launch of the Justice & Peace Europe Memorandum

Organised crime and money laundering constitute one of the main concerns for European citizens and for the European institutions today. They are also a matter of serious concern to the Church.

Therefore, Justice & Peace Europe initiated the work on a Memorandum on “EU action to combat money laundering and organised crime” which was officially launched and published on 14 December 2016 in Brussels.

Read the text of the memorandum here:

Pax Christi UK reflects on Peacemaking and Europe

In its latest newsletter Pax Christi UK offers three articles on the peacemaking role of Europe. One of its Vice Presidents, Bruce Kent, reflects on the peace history of the EU. Partners from Pax Christi Germany and Pax Netherlands offer reasons as to why the UK should stay in Europe.

Bruce Kent writes: “We today, especially in Pax Christi, can be under no illusions. There is a lot of peacemaking educational work still to do. Ignorance about both the European Union and the United Nations is widespread. Yet both were founded primarily as building blocks of peace.”

Erik Laan from PAX Netherlands says: “We need the UK in, to keep this European peace project alive. We need the UK in, to maintain its relevance as an important peace actor in the world.
We need the UK in, to ensure it has enough leverage to make a difference.”

Pax Christi UK hopes that this resource will help to inform reflection and discussion on the EU Referendum

The Catholic Church in the European Union are due to issue a report on the Peace and Europe’s Vocation later this month.

The newsletter is here

Joint Public Issues Team: EU Referendum Resource

“Think, Pray Vote” explores issues such as sovereignty, the single market, freedom of movement, the environment and more, providing a combination of information, the opportunity for theological reflection and different perspectives from Christians intending to vote.

Please click here to access the page

On the page you will find:
• The EU Referendum resource
• Information on running your own hustings or question-time event
• A word version of the resource from which you can copy and paste into any of your own publications (with appropriate crediting).

NJPN message of solidarity to Belgium Justice&Peace Commissions

Following the deeply shocking events in Brussels NJPN has sent the following message to the French and Flemish speaking justice and peace commissions in Belgium:

“On behalf of the National Justice & Peace Network, I would like to express our deep sadness at the atrocities in Brussels on 22 March, and assure you that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and the people of Belgium at this time.
May it be a call to us all to work for a just and peaceful response to the challenges which face us all.

In peace and solidarity”

Ann Kelly
NJPN Administrator

Statement from the Belgian Justice & Peace Commission, Pax Christi and Magma on the attacks in Brussels

Statement reads:

They had the blood, they will not have hatred

The first thoughts of the workers and volunteers of Justice and Peace, Pax Christi and Magma are with the victims of the attacks and their relatives. By striking at Zaventem and in the heart of Brussels, the terrorists not only wanted to bring death: they also intend to sow hatred. It belongs to all of us not to offer them what they want.

To live up to what happens to us is to refuse rage and withdrawal. Is to continue tirelessly weaving a “we” both fragile and fundamental. This is not only a moral imperative but the best long-term guarantee of security.

Hitting the center of a cosmopolitan capital, the bombers would lead us to believe in the impossibility of coexistence of the meeting and mutual enrichment. We do not offer them this success. Our resistance to terrorism will increase the contrary by additional meetings, discussions and reflections.

We invite everyone to solidarity with the victims and brotherhood with all. Every thought, every act of openness and peace will be a defeat of terror and a victory for the future.

Commission Justice and Peace, Pax Christi and Magma vzw

Message of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions

“Ask people what they need.”

This is the first step in building a welcoming society; a society which grows when we respect the dignity of all human beings. Representatives of Justice and Peace Commissions from Europe learned this through their contact with different social action movements at their annual meeting held in Copenhagen and Malmö.

We, the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions, held our General Assembly and International Workshops in Copenhagen and Malmö from September 25 – 28, 2015. During the International Workshops “European models of living together – experiences in Copenhagen and Malmö” commissions from twenty European countries explored issues involved with migrants, asylum seekers and integration of new comers. This focus is especially pertinent in the light of life threatening political crises, which have caused millions of Syrian, Iraqi and Eritrean peoples to flee to Europe from their homelands.

In Copenhagen, we visited a representative of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Institute of Human Rights, and Politikenshus, a media concern. Additionally, we attended a Panel Discussion “Danish national church and foreigners” where members of different Christian denominations and an Imam participated. In Malmö we visited the Islamic Center in Rosengård, Ögårdsskolan, a Muslim primary school, Sancta Maria Catholic Open College, Swedish Lutheran Church in Rosengård, Dialogforum, a project of the Malmö city antidiscrimination program, and Yalla Trappan, a work integration social enterprise, where we met people from many cultures and religious traditions.

Interestingly, our experience of the Danish and Swedish situations parallelled our local experiences as national commissions from other European countries. In this way the Danish and Swedish situations reflect a European experience of response to questions of migrants, asylum seekers and the integration of new comers including refugees. During our encounters and discussions with people of Copenhagen and Malmö, three themes became apparent: addressing fears as well as giving hope, moral leadership, a long term-vision for society.

Fear was a common theme in our visits and discussions. This fear took at least three different forms: fear of losing culture and identity, fear that the welfare state will collapse when large numbers of foreigners overwhelm the system and fear that foreigners will take job opportunities of the local people. We also encountered hope. This hope took the form of projects empowering women, training the jobless, providing encounter opportunities and other opportunities for dialogue between diverse peoples.

In our discussions we also addressed a second theme: politicians and other opinion makers, citizens as well as faith based and non-governmental organisations can be vital voices of moral authority and credibility. We were reminded during our workshops that opinion makers and social actors are critical contributors to building welcoming or inhospitable societies.

Building welcoming societies is the responsibility of all democratic and human rights oriented organisations and movements whose ethical foundations are all based upon a core
understanding of all humans as being of equal value. We, members of Justice and Peace Europe, understand ourselves to be responsible for the promotion of welcoming societies. In his address to the US Congress on September 24, 2015 Pope Francis defined a good society as one, which, “… endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.”

Taking responsibility for fulfilling society‘s vocation means we, members of Justice and Peace Europe, seek to:
 offer concrete facts and broader perspectives as response to fears and as a means to address arguments against welcoming societies;
 promote a welcoming society, by asking first those who are vulnerable or at risk what they need and serving these needs;
 support and encourage politicians and opinion makers with credibility to make unambiguous statements and advance policies, which support the development of welcoming societies in Europe.

The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (Justice and Peace Europe) is the alliance of 31 Justice and Peace Commissions in Europe, working for the promotion of justice, peace and respect for human dignity. Justice and Peace Europe contributes to raising awareness of the Catholic social doctrine in the European societies and the European institutions. Its General Secretariat is based in Brussels.