Violence/Peace on Earth

Public Information & Education

Pastoral Care

  • Project SAVE through Catholic Charities & The New Orleans Family Justice Center for help with victims of abuse
  • Cornerstone Builders through Catholic Charities — help for formerly incarcerated men and women based on rehabilitation through service
  • Isaiah 43 — a Catholic Charities initiative to combat violence, murder, and racism in New Orleans through the Family Prayer  & through working with parents and their children to build relationships of support and fellowship in faith
  • NOLA Interfaith Peace Coalition
  • Helping Mothers Heal is an interfaith bereavement ministry for mothers who have lost a child to violence.  The group meets weekly at the Family Center of Hope, 4422 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.  For more information, including contact information, visit their Facebook page 

 

Prayer & Worship

"Let us pray, 

God have mercy on us in the United States and throughout the world as we refuse to follow your command of peace.   Give your blessing to  those who have died, their families, and to those who protect us through law enforcement.  Lord Jesus we weep with you.  Please use our prayers, hearts and hands to build peace in our families and in our world.  Wherever in my heart there is a hint of violence and revenge, mercifully help me to a change of heart. Lord, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.   

Amen.”  -Archbishop Aymond

Church Teaching on Violence

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2302, 2304):

"By recalling the commandment, ‘You shall not kill,’ our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit, but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution to correct vices and maintain justice. If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, ‘Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.’

Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is the tranquillity of order. Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity."

From the USCCB’s “Confronting A Culture Of Violence: A Catholic Framework For Action” 1994:

“Beyond the violence in our streets is the violence in our hearts.  Hostility, hatred, despair and indifference are at the heart of a growing culture of violence.  Verbal violence in our families, communications and talk shows contribute to this culture of violence.  Pornography assaults the dignity of women and contributes to violence against them.  Our social fabric is being torn apart by a culture of violence that leaves children dead on our streets and families afraid in our homes.  Our society seems to be growing numb to human loss and suffering.  A nation born in a commitment to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is haunted by death, imprisoned by fear and caught up in the elusive pursuit of protection rather than happiness.  A world moving beyond the Cold War is caught up in bloody ethnic, tribal and political conflict.

It doesn't have to be this way.  It wasn't always this way.  We can turn away from violence; we can build communities of greater peace.  It begins with a clear conviction:  respect for life.  Respect for life is not just a slogan or a program; it is a fundamental moral principle flowing from our teaching on the dignity of the human person.  It is an approach to life that values people over things.  Respect for life must guide the choices we make as individuals and as a society: what we do and won't do, what we value and consume, whom we admire and whose example we follow, what we support and what we oppose.  Respect for human life is the starting point for confronting a culture of violence…

Violence in our culture is fed by multiple forces -- the disintegration of family life, media influences, growing substance abuse, the availability of so many  weapons, and the rise of gangs and increasing youth violence.  No one response can address these diverse sources.  Traditional liberal or conservative approaches cannot effectively confront them.  We have to address simultaneously declining family life and the increasing availability of deadly weapons, the lure of gangs and the slavery of addiction, the absence of real opportunity, budget cuts adversely affecting the poor, and the loss of moral values…

We cannot ignore the underlying cultural values that help to create the environment where violence grows: a denial of right and wrong, education that ignores fundamental values, an abandonment of personal responsibility, an excessive and selfish focus on our individual desires, a diminishing sense of obligation to our children and neighbors, a misplaced priority on acquisitions, and media glorification of violence and sexual irresponsibility.  In short, we often fail to value life and cherish human beings above possessions, power and pleasure…”