Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis named Person of the Year by National Catholic Reporter
Marie Dennis, Pope Francis, Person of the Year, National Catholic Reporter
from National Catholic Reporter
As 2016 draws to a close, it is easy to catalog a seemingly endless list of suffering that humans have endured this year through wars and acts of terror that continue to rob the globe of peace. The violence that plagues humanity seems limitless in its ability to mutate into new expressions while continuing to stoke the underlying causes: racism, sexism, economic injustice and environmental degradation.
The intractable tragedy of Syria -- the slaughter there and the resulting humanitarian disaster that spills across borders and continents -- is the year’s most disturbing reminder of how inadequate our current structures are at stopping violence.
It is the lot of peace to have to battle the headwinds of violence; the province of the peacemaker to find ways to be heard above the din of the warrior, to make the case for nonviolence against the forces, as Pope Francis has pointed out, who choose war not only for ideological reasons but because they profit from it. Peacemaking is an exhausting calling, but one more essential today than perhaps at any other time in human history.
It is no surprise, then, that one of the central figures stepping into the breach is an unimposing woman whose life’s dedication to peace-building has resulted in an unprecedented conversation at the highest levels of the church.
Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, has long known that making peace in today’s world requires not only new ways of acting, but also new ways of seeing and thinking...