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International Commission
on Justice and Peace

Dominicans Reaffirm Priorities at International Justice Meeting

SANTA SABINA -- April 3, 2009 More than forty years ago, the phrase “justice and peace” was born into the language of the Social Teaching of the Church. In Guadium et Spes, the Church recognized the existence of sinful structures in society and called for the creation of structures to respond.  In 1967, Paul VI established one such structure: the Pontifical Council for “Justice and Peace.” 

Ten years later, at the Quezon City General Chapter, the Order of Preachers identified “justice and peace” as one of four priorities for the Order.  At that same Chapter, the Order intiated its own structure and called for a General Promoter of Justice and Peace and Regional Promoters for the continental areas of the world.  Provinces of Friars and congregations of Sisters began appointing Promoters of Justice and Peace.

For more than 30 years, the justice and peace structure of the Order has been evolving.  Today, the International Dominican Commission of Justice and Peace consists of the Friar and Sister Regional Co-Promoters for each of the five continental areas of the world, the delegates of the two Dominican NGO's at the United Nations, the Socius for Apostolic Life, the International Coordinator of Dominican Sisters International and the two International (General) Co-Promoters for the Order.  This IDCJP met from 25-30 March 2009, beginning with a day together at the United Nations in Geneva and continuing for the next four days at Santa Sabina in Rome. 

After sharing information about the diverse realities in their various parts of  the world, Commission Members agreed that the three priorities identified at their previous meeting in Fanjeaux in 2006 continue to be major areas for contemplation and action by the Dominican Family. These priorities are “Peace and Authentic Human Security,” “Migration – the Movement of Peoples,” and “Economic Injustices.” 

The Commission's day in Geneva provided information and experience that hopefully will lead to greater use of the agencies of the UN by JP Promoters and other members of the Dominican Family.  Commission Members agree that – far from being areas for specialists -- action for justice and participation in the transformation of the world are essential commitments for those who claim to be Gospel preachers (Justice in the World, 1971).

Present at this IDCJP meeting were Marie Laure DENES OP (Europe), Durstyne FARNAN OP (No.America), Toni HARRIS OP (Int'l Co-Promoter), Prakash LOHALE OP (Soc. Apostolic Life), Miguel CONCHA Malo OP (La. America y Carib), Margaret MAYCE OP (UN-NGO), Emmanuel NTAKARUTIMANA OP (Africa), Olivier POQUILLON OP (UN-NGO), Carlos RODRIGUEZ Linera OP (Int'l Co-Promoter), Bienvenido S. TRINILLA OP (Asia-Pacific), Michel VAN AERDE OP (Europe- Espaces) andNoemi ZAMBRANO OP (La. America y Carib).

Commission Members unable to attend were Charles DAHM OP (North America), Paulina Chioma OGBONNAYA OP (Africa), Maria Fabiola VELASQUEZ Maya OP (DSI) and Rosita YAYA OP (Asia-Pacific).

Toni Harris OP and Carlos Rodriguez Linera OP
International Co-Promoters for Justice and Peace