Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenberg in South Africa recently said: "It is appalling experiences like Syria -with over 400,000 people killed already - that has driven Pope Francis to state that we are in the midst of a "third world war in instalments".
Bishop Kevin, who is co-president of Pax Christi International. is coming to Leeds to speak at an evening meeting organised by the Diocese of Leeds Justice & Peace Commission. He will be accompanied by Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi in the UK.
John Battle, Chair of the Commission commented: "His visit couldn't be more timely. New thinking on peace is badly needed at this time and we welcome not just Catholics but all who care about bringing peace to our world to come along and find out more."
Bishop Kevin will be speaking about the developing Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and especially the lessons of nonviolence to be found in the life of Blessed Oscar Romero, who was assassinated by the military in El Salvador in 1979. Bishop Kevin was heavily involved in the launch conference (at the Vatican in April 2016) of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. Pope Francis took up the theme of nonviolence when the global theme for the 2017 Sunday known as Peace Sunday in the Catholic Church was announced to be "Nonviolence, a style of politics for peace". More recently Bishop Kevin has been a participant at the Vatican in discussions with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
At a recent speech in South Africa, Bishop Kevin said: "It is appalling experiences like Syria with over 400,000 people killed already that has driven Pope Francis to state that we are in the midst of a "third world war in instalments". Our whole world - from the international arena, right down to experiences at the local level in many countries in the world, including our own in South Africa - seems to be trapped in a cycle of never-ending violence. ...The challenge, therefore, is how to introduce the power of nonviolent responses to nations and communities, groups and individuals both to, if possible prevent wars and violence breaking out..."
Bishop Kevin Dowling will be speaking on Tuesday 25 April at 7pm, at the Oxford Place Centre in Leeds.