The Catholic University of America

April 3, 2008

Catholic University to Host Discussion on Catholic Peacebuilding

Twenty-five years after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter on war and peace, Catholic scholars and practitioners will gather at The Catholic University of America on Monday, April 7, to discuss the Church's work on conflict resolution and promoting peace.

In 1983, U.S. bishops released "The Challenge of Peace," which called on Catholics to contribute to creating peace around the world. Participants will discuss the progress of this challenge by looking at the theological, ethical and practical dimensions of the Church's work on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation.

Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of politics and Life Cycle Institute fellow, organized this conference as a founding member of the advisory board for the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, a voluntary network of practitioners, academics, clergy and laity from around the world that seeks to enhance the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding.

"At a time when Pope Benedict XVI's visit to The Catholic University of America highlights the contributions that Catholic universities make, this conference also highlights the contributions universities and organizations make to peace around the globe," Love says.

The conference, which will be held at CUA's Aquinas Auditorium, is part of a series of events on Catholic peacebuilding. Love also helped to organize Catholic peacebuilding events at Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame.

Details of the event to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. follow.

  • Catholic Peacebuilding and Integral Human Development: Tensions and Insight from Practice
    After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Catholic Relief Services made peacebuilding one of its priorities. Rev. William R. Headley, C.S.Sp., dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego and former director of the Catholic Relief Services Peacebuilding Programs, discusses what lessons can be learned from the agency's efforts to integrate peacebuilding and development.

  • What Kind of Peace Do We Seek? Emerging Norms in Peacebuilding Institutions
    Maryann Cusimano Love will discuss how approaches to creating peace in Catholic social teaching compare to efforts to institutionalize peacebuilding in U.S. foreign policy and international organizations.

  • Peacebuilding and Reconciliation: Interfaith Dialogue and Catholic Spirituality
    Rev. Peter C. Phan
    , the Ignacio Ellacuria Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, will talk about the role of inter-religious dialogue and inter-religious cooperation in peacebuilding.

  • Peacebuilding in Africa
    Rev. Ferdinand Muhigirwe, S.J.
    , of the Centre d'Etudes Pour l'Action Sociale in the Democractic Republic of Congo, will speak about issues of peace in Africa.

William Barbieri, associate professor and associate dean at CUA's School of Theology of Religious Studies, and Catherine Halvey Goodwin, director of the Center for Ministry and Public Life at the Washington Theological Union, will serve as respondents to the discussions.

MEDIA: To cover the event, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.