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Peace and Justice

This not just 'News' - Here Today and Gone Tomorrow - the older problems before the very latest below are still with us!

Of course no-one can do everything, but we can all do something!



Balfour, May and

'The Wrong Kind of Jews'

7.00 pm, Wednesday, 15th November 2017

Robert Cohen speaks at Cornerstone, corner of Dalton Square, Lancaster LA1 1PX

November 2017 sees the 100th anniversary of the
Balfour Declaration
in which the British Government promised to create a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.

While most Jewish communities around the world will be celebrating the anniversary, Palestinians see it as an historic betrayal of their rights, the implications of which are still being played out today.


Robert Cohen is a leading dissident voice within the UK Jewish community and his talk will present some of the ‘lost voices’ of Jewish dissent against Balfour 100 years ago and discuss the prospect of Jewish opposition to Zionism today.
Robert Cohen’s blog can be read here :
/Writing from the Edge

Meeting arranged through the Faith and Justice Commission, the Lancaster Methodist Church, Global Link and Three Peaks for Palestine.

"Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace"

With his chosen theme Pope Francis affirms the place of nonviolencw - such as diplomacy, negotiation and citizens' action - in preventing war and resolving conflicts. The Pope challenges us to "revitalise the tools of nonviolence, and active nonviolence in particular."



We are asked to pray for an understanding of how WE can put peace into action in our own lives and locally. Pax Christi seeks to be a key resource for Catholic Christians, through their campaigning work and spirituality resources.


PREJUDICE against disabled people
. We campaigned against the use of screening to line up Down’s Syndrome babies for abortion, but it may go ahead.
Now we hear the NHS has paid out £70m to people who claim their babies should not have been allowed to live! What a culture is developing!
There is now an LGBT czar in the United Nations, who reckons children are the “soft entry points” for his propaganda.
Christians, be aware!


Two links for this December

Lancaster Faith & Justice Commission - monthly newsletter

Romero Lecture 2016 : (a recording)

In 2014 we received an urgent email from Aid to the Church in Need about the dreadful situation in which the Iraqi Christiams were finding themselves.

Unfortunately not only have their troubles not gone away but they have become far worse. Now it is not just so-called Isis which is a threat to Christians in the Middle East, but other regimes as well There are even instances where our Christian beliefs are not only being challenged but are causing people to lose their livelihoods in the so-called 'free' world.

Inevitably it seems these pages are set to expand. (Examples can be found below!)

The original report on the Christian Iraqis can therefore still be found here. The main purpose of this section is to indicate ways in which the groups trying to deal with these troubles can be supported.

If you want to help, pray - then act!


(notice by Fr Bob from the parish bulletin Sunday 16 September )
It surely can't be right to adopt a harsh tone and attitude to migrants. Being a migrant does not make a person a criminal. Many are in dire straits and poor conditions.

(We could see their makeshift encampment from our coach near Calais, going to Lourdes.) Other countries seem to be more positive towards exiles. Italy and Greece need European solidarity to help them care for people.

What are 'British' values? Are they Gospel values?

Jesus says "I was a stranger and you made me welcome." (Mt.25)

Two-child policy

- Yet another attack on our values.

If support is taken away from families for any children beyond the first two, it’s hard to see it as anything less than discrimination.
It’s telling people ”you mustn’t have more than two”.
Some of the most loving and responsible parents have large families.
Children are a nation’s greatest asset. Tell our MPs the child support grant should be reinstated.
We believe in life & people.


Unfortunately many of the previous links to other sites below have now become unavailable.
If you find others that no longer work or, of course, other good sites that do, do please notify the webmaster !

The donations box for Prisoners’ Sunday collected £78.22 (PACT will be very grateful for this.)
Your generosity to this and to the recent Racial Justice donations box is much appreciated.

Weekend 11/12 January
Last weekend £31.55 was donated for Pax Christi. They will be very grateful.

Weekend Saturday 18 / Sunday 19 January PEACE SUNDAY
Something to think hard about as we enter the year commemorating the outbreak of World War I. Peace needs a consistent approach. This year we are asked to reflect on the theme Pope Francis has chosen for this the 47th World Peace Day: ‘Living as one family is the foundation and pathway to peace’. That title invites us to examine our relationships: how far do we really live as brothers and sisters? How do we treat our brothers and sisters? Peace begins in the family, in the home, in the here and now: www.catholicnews.org.uk/peace-sunday-2014

Petition to raise to 18 the minimum age for recruitment to the armed forces in the UK. At present people can be recruited from only 16. You can add your names to this petition by signing up.
Pax Christi – is a Catholic charity that works for peace, based on justice, to have a world where human rights are respected, basic needs are met and people feel safe and valued in their communities. Peace Sunday was the main opportunity that Pax Christ had to raise income for its on-going work. For more information visit www.paxchristi.org.uk/peace

Previous still relevant reports:

Racial Justice -
Theme: “Being an inclusive Church...not an exclusive club.” We are all “ethnic”. We need to be active in drawing people of various ethnic groups fully into our parish life. CARJ (Catholic Assoc. for Racial Justice) gets a little funding from the bishops, but relies on donations to keep it going. www.carj.org.uk

There are very few places for homeless people to go to quench their thirst. In our local towns and cities local authorities have succeeded in shutting down the majority of water drinking fountains. Access to drinking water and lavatories represents a real hardship for our homeless people who struggle to remain hydrated.
Housing Justice is working to raise awareness of these problems, among Christians in the UK, encouraging them to write to local authorities about finding new solutions. If you want to join the campaign, look for the 'Line in the Sand' section on our website. HOUSINGJUSTICE.ORG.UK

In 2011 CAFOD together with Lancaster Faith and Justice Commission hosted a Conference 'Celebrating Creation' at Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre, with national speakers and workshops. We all have concerns about the environment, but how often do we consider the special understanding we, as Christian, could bring to these issues? For more information: Maggie McSherry at the Faith & Justice Commission - Ifjc@talktalk.net or Tel: 01524 383081


CAFOD urges the Government to Act on Poverty? to:
__________push for a fair climate change deal at the UN
__________honour its commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid by 2013
__________ensure businesses are accountable to people in poor countries affected by their operations
It is the poor who will suffer most from the changes and shortages which are already taking place and are bound to increase.

Although this notice dates from 2010, the situation has not changed -
It is a matter of justice, not simply for charity!

Racial Justice
'Do not ill-treat or oppress a foreigner; remember that you were foreigners in Egypt.'
. Exodus 21 v.23
In his parable of the unjust servant Jesus is referring to any kind of offence against our neighbour, personal or national. Inequality between nations is often the result of past colonial exploitation which still continues even when they have gained so-called independence. One current example is the way aid is tied to privatisation, opening the way to further exploitation by multinational firms. It was and is a means by which the richer nations and controlling elites acquire and maintain their wealth and power.

Catholic Association for Racial Justice

from Psalm 82

How long will you defend the unjust

and show partiality to the wicked?

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;

maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Rescue the weak and needy;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Fair Trade and Traidcraft
 Justice is not just up to governments
Trade agreements make it hard for 3rd world countries
to earn enough to escape the poverty trap
Are we ourselves paying enough for our goods?

from Psalm 146

Happy is the man who has the God of Jacob to help him
and who depends on the Lord his God,
the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea,
and all that is in them.
He always keeps his promises;
he judges in favour of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets prisoners free
and gives sight to the blind.
He lifts those who have fallen;
he loves his righteous people.

He protects the strangers who live in our land;
he helps widows and orphans,
but he ruins the plans of the wicked.


Digging for Survival
This website has a resource pack suitable for students
Newspaper articles and
on child labour
and the use of children as young as three in mining
Human rights abuses
especially of children
"Let the little children come to me.. Street Children in Africa
Catholic Action for Street Children in Ghana
..for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
50% of Africans are under 16 34 of 42 poorest countries in the world are in Africa 42% of Africans live in towns and cities
3 million+ children live on the streets in Africa
Many are 2nd and 3rd generation street children
20,000 children and 6000 babies live on the streets in Accra, Ghana

Some challenging reading

Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace

Catholic News - an independent website with UK news and articles on topical issues: e.g.

Only a few years ago Church leaders expressed alarm at Tory pledge to withdraw Britain from the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees. "It is absolutely alarming and dangerous, that the Tories could even contemplate refusing to protect desperate, frightened and often violently abused men, women and children." We've seen what is happening in France with the Roma refugees - we must make sure it doesn't happen here!

Catholic Information Network

St Charles Church in Arlington, Virginia has many useful resources on the issues of War and Peace:

Pope Paul VI : "If you want peace, work for justice!"

Interest - this is OUR problem whether we like it or not
Information - we need to understand the problems
Involvement - solutions depend on everyone, not just a few enthusiasts

St Catherine's Directory - an excellent source of information

UK Dioceses: Salford,

Pax Christi "If you want peace, work for justice!"

Corrymeela - the peace community - pioneers in Northern Ireland
Duncan Morrow on the challenge of a shared future for Northern Ireland

Resources for Religious Education - the environment

Catholic Association for Racial Justice

Churches together for Racial Justice

Vatican and general Catholic involvement in Justice and Peace
Far more remains to be done - "Lord, make us a means of your peace!"

Racial Justice -what you can do!


of any prejudice and self-seeking which hinders us from standing up for justice and making restitution for all known sin


the structures and practices of organisations and identify any exploitation and discrimination


to establish and affirm fellowships so that believers from all backgrounds feel valued and loved and are able to offer themselves


a mission and community life which affirm social justice


practices and policies which are racist and unjust


pastoral concern for people suffering through racism


communities to learn from the experiences of refugees, asylum seekers and travellers and endeavour to create a Europe for all people

The World Day for Peace
instituted by Pope Paul VI began on 1 January 1979

John Paul II in his address on 16 December 2003 for World Peace Day 2004 reiterated that:
The church does not tire of repeating that peace is a duty....
It must be built on the four pillars indicated by Pope John XXIII in his encyclical, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth)





'Peace on Earth' is such an important document that quotations will be repeated here, while emphasizing that the document should be studied in its entirety.
(available from the Catholic Truth Society, 38-40 Eccleston Sq. London SWIV 1PD)

Peace on Earth
The encyclical 'Pacem in Terris' on Human Rights and Duties

95. It must be made quite clear that it is a gross violation of justice to do anything to reduce the vigour and growth of such minorities; all the more so if the abominable attempt is made to exterminate them.

96. The way to secure justice in such situations is for governments to take effective steps to improve the human conditions of these ethnic minorities, particularly as regards the use of their language, the preservation of their native genius, their ancient customs and their enterprises and activities in the economic field.'

Note : When this is a translation from the Latin, the words 'man' and 'men' are replaced here by 'people' or another suitable word
to represent the meaning of the Latin 'homo', mankind, both men and women, rather than the exclusively masculine 'vir'.
This is not 'political correctness' but justice - for the sake of all those oppressed women throughout the world
who are bought and sold and have never known freedom or dignity.


Peace and Justice Calendar

September 29th Feast of St Vincent de Paul -  a servant of the poor

October 4th Feast of St Francis of Assissi  - he identified with the poor