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Pax Christi Australia is an International Christian peace movement with branches in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and individual members throughout Australia.
Members are involved in peace efforts in the fields of demilitarisation and security, human rights, ecology, development, economic justice and reconciliation.
Pax Christi came into existence at the end of World War II. Building on the initial inspiration of Madame Marie-Marthe Dortel-Claudot, a small group of French men and women, inspired by the Gospel, had the vision, the faith and the courage to foster a movement for reconciliation.
During the 1960s the movement spread to most of Western Europe and not only grew in size and number of sections, but also put great emphasis on developing an efficient international structure. In 1963, Pax Christi International adopted Pope John XXIII's pastoral letter: Peace on Earth as its charter. In the spirit of this document, the movement takes its inspiration from the relationship between the work of peacemaking and justice. Increasingly the issues of justice and human rights have been dealt with on both the national and international levels.
In the 1970s, Pax Christi was established as a peace movement in Australia and has been influential in peace initiatives in this country ever since. One of the key objectives of the Australian section has been to develop a strong Asia-Pacific perspective to Pax Christi's work. The decision of the international movement to initiate a series of Asia-Pacific regional consultations was in part an outcome of these efforts. The first regional consultation took place in October 1991 in Hong Kong, the second in Bacolod, the Philippines in 1996, and the third took place in October 2001 in Bangkok.
Pax Christi Australia believes that our commitment to peace places us in a long tradition of people who have dreamed of a new heaven and a new earth where mercy and truth have met, justice and peace have embraced; where the integrity of creation is celebrated in freedom and the walls of separation are dissolved in compassion and solidarity; where human dignity and unity are honoured and we live and die as a blessing to each other.
Our confidence in our dream is founded in a deeper spirituality which believes that the weak things of this world can confound the strong, and that which is not, can not reduce to nothing that which is. Together with the prophets of our age we renounce all structures of violence and injustice, and make common cause with all those who are committed to the sacredness of all life, respect for the dignity of the human person, and sensitivity to the value of different cultures and civilisations.
Pax Christi in Australia aims to be a force for peace within the churches and the community by making available an ongoing analysis of the factors that make or do not make for peace. In its methods Pax Christi enjoins three dimensions: spirituality, study and action. In keeping with these three dimensions, Pax Christi Australia gives priority to education and research, study conferences and grassroots activities, prayer and theological reflection.