Press Release about the Conference
Peacebuilders From 21 Countries Convene to Support Catholic Peacebuilding in Mindanao
July 15, 2005
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(+01 574) 631-3765
Catholic Relief Services
Lot 5 Block 37, Luisa St., Juna Subd., Matina, Davao City
The Second International Conference on Catholic Peacebuilding was held in Davao City, Mindanao, the Philippines, from July 11–15, 2005. The conference, which brought together 75 Catholic peacebuilders from 21 countries, sought to draw insights from the Church’s rich experience of peacebuilding in Mindanao that could be useful for future peacebuilding efforts there and for Catholic peacebuilding in other conflict situations.
“The selection of Mindanao for this conference is a tribute to the efforts of the Catholic, Muslim and indigenous communities to find peaceful solutions to the violence that has caused so much suffering among our one human family,” said Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Davao. “We are deeply grateful for the continued support from so many who share our joys and concerns about peace.”
“I am terribly impressed with the maturity of the dialogue process and the spirit of collaboration we found in Mindanao,” said Bishop John Cummins, liaison to the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. After returning from two days of visits to local communities, he noted, “I am convinced that the impressive peacebuilding work of the Catholic community here provides a firm foundation for addressing the remaining obstacles to peace in Mindanao.”
Adele Sowinska of Catholic Relief Services Sudan added, “The experience of Mindanao will greatly assist us in designing programs which more effectively address the challenges we face in the post-conflict period in Sudan.”
The Catholic Peacebuilding Network is a voluntary network of practitioners, academics, clergy and laity, that seeks to enhance the study and practice of peacebuilding, especially at the local level. Through its convenings, research, web site and listserve, the CPN aims to deepen bonds of solidarity among Catholic peacebuilders, share and analyze “best practices,” expand the peacebuilding capacity of the Church in areas of conflict, and encourage the further development of a theology of a just peace.
The CPN has been spearheaded by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Relief Services, with the active involvement of Maryknoll, the Office of International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Center for International Social Development at the Catholic University of America, the Sant’ Egidio Community in the United States, and Pax Christi International.
The program for the Mindanao conference and the list of participants is available on the Catholic Peacebuilding Network website: cpn.nd.edu.