“Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake.
War begets war, violence begets violence.”
Pope Francis, Angelus, September 1, 2013.
The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), in solidarity with the global community of faith, stand in the shadow of the horrors initiated on October 7, 2023 in Israel and Gaza. As women of the Gospel, we grieve with those who grieve, seek release of those held captive, and recognize the root causes of violence as well as the urgent call for the use of all possible resources to stabilize the Middle East, secure refuge for those in humanitarian crisis, and negotiate peace that will last.
United with the interfaith community, we take seriously our responsibility to protect the safety of all people of faith throughout the world. We stand united with leaders of other faiths, intolerant of any form of hate or violence towards places of worship, and ready to witness to the transformation of consciousness necessary for sustainable peace.
LCWR is compelled to work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in a life of nonviolence. We stand in solidarity with the victims of brutality and with faith leaders as we heed the Gospel call to follow Jesus’ way of nonviolence, reconciliation, and care for the most vulnerable across lines of division.
We commit ourselves and the members of our religious communities to choose the peaceful path of Jesus and exercise all of our rights and duties as citizens to urge our leaders to act as responsible members of the world community. We join our prayer with religious people of all faiths who recognize that war is not the solution, and we commit ourselves to be those who believe that peace is possible.
We call upon world leaders and the United Nations to activate those mechanisms necessary for an immediate ceasefire and the negotiation of peace, so that justice may prevail. We are each responsible to be aware, to be informed by factual information, to look at root causes, and to reject rhetoric that fuels violence.
We, the members of LCWR, will continue to speak on behalf of the truth of faith, the strength of prayer, the power of nonviolence and the only pathway that will provide a future for our children: peace.
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Revised on October 14, 2023