Delegates at a social justice conference held at the Vatican City on Thursday called on the Catholic Church to renounce its just war doctrine and for Pope Francis to write an encyclical on nonviolence and “just peace.”
In a closing statement conference participants, which included the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Latin American leaders such as Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Bolivia's Evo Morales, called for the church to develop a new peacemaking framework “consistent with Gospel nonviolence.”
“The time has come for our church to be a living witness and to invest far greater human and financial resources in promoting a spirituality and practice of active nonviolence and in forming and training our Catholic communities in effective nonviolent practices,” the closing statement from the attendees said.
Although Pope Francis hosted a marathon prayer vigil to stave off threatened military action in Syria and brought the Israeli and Palestinian presidents together for a peace, summit he supported bombing campaigns on the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
In his opening greeting to specially selected attendees the pope said the “ultimate and most deeply worthy goal of human beings and of the human community is the abolition of war.”