Recent decades have seen a steady trend in Roman Catholic teaching toward a commitment to active nonviolence that could qualify the church as a "peace church." As a moral theologian specializing in social ethics, Schlabach explores how this trend in Catholic social teaching will need to take shape if Catholics are to follow through. Globalization, he argues, is an invitation to recognize what was always supposed to be true in Catholic ecclesiology: Christ gives Christians an identity that crosses borders. To become a truly catholic global peace church in which peacemaking is church-wide and parish-deep, Catholics should recognize that they have always properly been a diaspora people with an identity that transcends tribe and nation-state.
Gerald W. Schlabach is professor of theology and former chair of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He holds a PhD in theology and ethics from the University of Notre Dame. During much of the 1980s he worked in Central America on church-related peace and justice assignments. Schlabach is co-founder of Bridgefolk, a movement for grassroots dialogue and unity between Mennonites and Roman Catholics. He is active in the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, which is engaged in a sustained conversation with the Vatican in favor of a "just peace" framework for Catholic teaching and practice. His books include Just Policing, Not War: An Alternative Response to World Violence, and Sharing Peace: Mennonites and Catholics in Conversation, both from Liturgical Press.