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Kingship and non-violence

Changing Behaviour Patterns through Peace Building among Youth was the title of a recent symposium on peer mediation held at the Southern Academy of the Performing Arts (SAPA) as highlighted in the Catholic News two weeks ago. The event is of immense relevance to this weekend’s Solemnity of Christ the King.

This kingship has had a very schizophrenic history. On one hand, Christ was the Infant King of Peace; on the other, the King of Armies, and hence a purveyor of violence. Thankfully, the Church has now traded violence for peacemaking.

The message from popes St John Paul II to Francis is that war can never be called ‘just’. The centuries’ old ‘just war theory’ is slowly being abandoned in favour of peacemaking because the cost of war is too huge – death of the innocent, especially children; destruction of cities, towns and villages; the obliteration of monumental symbols; feelings of revenge that are repressed only to be reprised years later; untold damage to the environment, not to mention the billions needed to rebuild.

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