Transitional Justice and Reconciliation
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.
As an example of CPN supported work for reconciliation, in November 2013, CPN and CRS co-sponsored and provided resource persons for a major meeting on reconciliation for Ugandan bishops and national- and diocesan-level peace and justice staff. In Spring 2015, Emmanuel Aliba Kiiza, the director of the Justice, Peace, and Caritas office of the Ugandan Bishops was the Kroc-CRS Fellow. During his fellowship, he developed the National Reconciliation Plan for Uganda, which was approved by the Ugandan Bishops in June 2015. CPN will continue to provide as-needed support for the plan's implementation.
And as another example, in 2011, CPN presented research on the Church’s approach to land restitution and peace processes at the Colombian bishops’ triennial Congreso de la Reconciliación in Bogotá. Then in October 2013, CPN co-sponsored a major biennial Congress on reconciliation held in Colombia, and in August 2014, CPN participated in the launch of the National Catholic Network of Reconciliation (Red católica nacional de reconciliación), which followed on the establishment of a secretariat of peacebuilding within the Colombian Episcopal Conference. CPN will continue to be a resource on reconciliation as the nation moves forward with its attempts to establish a lasting peace agreement.