The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Promotion of Peace

The Catholic social teaching principle of Promotion of Peace - te whakatairanga i te rangimārie - is about peace as the fruit of justice and love. All peace requires respect for human life, which in turn involves the safeguarding of the dignity and freedom of people.

The Fruit of Justice and Love

All peace requires respect for human life, which in turn involves the safeguarding of the dignity and freedom of people.

Peace is the fruit of justice and love and is dependent upon right order among human beings.

Peace is far more than just the absence of war. It is an essential attribute of God, a value to be embraced by all of humanity, and a universal duty.


Searching the Scriptures...

Social Justice teaching is founded on firm scriptural foundations.

  • Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward people.
    Luke 14:2
  • Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. 
    Proverbs 12:20
  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
    John 14:27
  • Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
    Hebrews 12:14

...And in the light of Catholic social teaching.

  • 'The world will never be the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man and woman.'
    Pacem In Terris, #165, 1963
  • ‘Peace is the fruit of Justice.’
    Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 2005
  • ‘We are all called to be agents of peace and justice – the leaven in the bread – through our appreciation of cultural diversity and work for racial harmony among the people we mix with every day.’
    New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference: Celebrating Cultural Diversity, 2005
  • ‘Today the world has a profound thirst for peace. In many countries, people are suffering due to wars which, though often forgotten, are always the cause of suffering and poverty.’
    Pope Francis, September 20, 2016


Great Examples: Parihaka - On a Path of Peace

Learn more about the history of Parihaka as a community on a path of peace here: Parihaka


Living out CST: Ideas for putting faith into action

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • How is the Parihaka community an example of the promotion of peace?
  • What can we learn from the example of Parihaka in terms of how we live our lives?
  • What are ways for all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand to live together peacefully?
  • In what areas of my own life am I in need of peace?
  • Where in the world do I know there is a need for peace to exist?
  • How can I help promote peace to others and in my community?

Acting in Faith

  • Read and reflect on the case studies and questions above.
  • Reflect on a prayer by Pope Francis to promote peace and justice: The Pope Video of January 2020 - Promotion of World Peace
  • Visit or learn more about the places that are part of the Parihaka story.
  • Practice forgiveness and make peace by reaching out to people you may have hurt or who have hurt you.
  • Learn more about the history of Parihaka and discuss what we can learn about the promotion of peace.
  • Find out more about people in the past who have been peacemakers.
  • Watch the video ‘Pacem in Terris’ 50 years later' by the Catholic News Service to see the importance of the encyclical Peace on Earth written by Pope John XXIII in 1963.
  • Learn more about the Parihaka story from our resource, Remembering Parihaka.
  • Promote the International Day of Peace (September 21) and watch this video for more information: International Day of Peace Promotional Video
  • Gather a group from your parish to study Pacem in Terris by Pope John XXIII.
  • Hold a special prayer service or liturgy commemorating Parihaka on the anniversary of the invasion of Parihaka on 5 November.
  • Choose a prayer from the Social Justice Week 2020 resources and use it in your parish liturgy – during Prayer of the Faithful or at the end of Communion.


Closing Prayers

E te Atua, we pray for all people of faith, that mutual respect and the promotion of peace may be a voice for good.
Leader: E te Ariki...     All: whakarongo mai rā ki a mātou.

E te Atua, we pray for the strength to show others how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully, and the courage to model it in our own behaviour.
Leader: E te Ariki...     All: whakarongo mai rā ki a mātou.

E te Atua, we pray for the courage to have difficult conversations about the issues stopping peace from happening, and for a better appreciation of how our words and actions - or even our silence - can impact our communities.
Leader: E te Ariki...     All: whakarongo mai rā ki a mātou.


God of all peoples,
E te Atua o ngā iwi katoa,
we pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see,
and the faith to believe in a world free from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead them to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
Praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfil the purpose for which we and everyone were created.

(Adapted from a prayer by unknown author)

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