Transitional Justice and Reconciliation

group assembly at 2006 CPN conference in Burundi

A vital aspect of lasting peace is work for justice and reconciliation. While peace often implies to many the cessation of conflict, peacebuilding emphasizes that post-conflict transition with truth-telling, accountability, and community restoration is necessary for the genuine flourishing of nations and regions that have suffered violence and war. CPN helps enable on-the-ground peacebuilding actors in Catholic institutions to accompany peoples emerging from conflict to find reconciliation. It does so by engaging the expertise of scholars on the subject, and by facilitating training and strategic advising for bringing together those formerly on opposite sides of conflict in order to bring about reconciliation and transition to peaceful and secure civic life.


Catholic Approaches to Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Processes

CPN has directly supported reconciliation initiatives in Uganda and Colombia, and in December 2018 CPN published a pastoral planning tool, Catholic Approaches to Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Processes. The tool offers strategies, frameworks, and best practices for how Catholic groups can make distinctive contributions to post-conflict justice and reconciliation. It is also available in Spanish.



"Overcoming Violence in Wounded Societies: Perspectives from the Colombian and Kenyan Truth Commissions"
Keough School of Global Affairs Washington, DC Office, University of Notre Dame
April 12, 2023

How can societies grapple with the legacies of conflict and human rights violations? How might they overcome traumatic cycles of ongoing violence? And what can spiritual traditions teach them about moving forward toward a better future? This panel examined these questions with: Rev. Francisco de Roux, former chair of Colombia’s Truth Commission; Tecla Namachanja Wanjala, former vice and acting chair of Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission; and two Colombian attestants to the armed conflict. The panel was moderated by Leslie Wingender, Director of Peacebuilding for Humanity United.

Catholic Peacebuilding in Times of Crisis: Hope for a Wounded World, Truth as a Foundation for Transitional Justice and Reconciliation
June 20, 2022

For transitional justice to be effective, and for post-conflict reconciliation to be sustainable, truth must be at the foundation. Human rights violations, crimes, and atrocities must be recognized before healing can occur and peace be established. The Catholic Church often plays a key role in truth and reconciliation commissions, human rights bodies, and other processes that further transitional justice and reconciliation. This panel provides insights on some of those experiences and examines some lessons learned for how Catholic peacebuilders can be better future advocates for truth and reconciliation. Moderator: Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame. Panelists: Maka Black Elk, Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, SD; Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah (Sokoto), former member Nigerian Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations; Rev. Peter-John Pearson, Southern African Bishops' Conference.

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Resources and Documents

Peace Processes Tools and Guides Transitional Justice and Reconciliation