A Kiss for Peace

Publication date: 
November 2019

On the 10th and 11th April, a spiritual retreat took place at the Casa Santa Marta, (in the Vatican), with the leaders of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the most prominent figures in the South Sudanese conflict. The retreat ended with the presence of Pope Francis, who called for peace, but in such a special way that the whole world took notice: he got down on his knees and kissed the feet of the leaders responsible for the conflict, one by one, and without exception. In this Paper, we will be looking at the various meanings of this gesture, at the same time explaining that in order to understand its meaning, it is necessary to view it through the deep-seated Christian tradition of non-violence.


The Working Group on Christian Nonviolence was born in 2018 with the intention of studying, reflecting and spreading active nonviolence from its Christian roots, aiming to contribute to a profound debate and its practice. The Group works mainly for two targets: (1) Christians in general and the Church in particular, and (2) civil society, which includes groups from the areas of Culture, Thinking, Society, Economy, Politics... The Group expects to provide nonviolent perspectives and tools to transform the conflicts that we live.

More information: noviolenciacristiana@gmail.com

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