I hereby Pledge myself - my person and body - to the nonviolent movement (this was taken from the actual pledge used during the Civil Rights Movement). Therefore I will keep the following commandments:
Nonviolence is an active force confronting evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It is always persuading the opponent of the righteousness of a just cause. It is only passive in its non-aggression towards its enemy.
The end of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
Nonviolence recognizes that the enemy is ignorance and illness. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil people.
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it. Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its thoughts, words and deeds. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous education and transforming power. Suffering has the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.
Nonviolence repudiates violence of the spirit, tongue, and body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative. Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility. Nonviolent love is active, not passive. Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore brotherhood/sisterhood and community. Nonviolent loves does not sink to the level of hate. Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves. Love restores community and brings justice. Nonviolence recognizes that fact that all life is interrelated.
The nonviolent activist has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that justice is a universal principal.
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10
OCTOBER 2, 2017
Mr. Larry Campbell
c/o Ss. Peter and Paul Parish
Chicago, IL 60609-2047
Dear Mr. Campbell,
Know that I very much appreciate your letter of September 20, 2017 by which you informed me that Nonviolence Works will be starting a pilot program at the juvenile detention center this month and for sending a copy of your letter to Pope Francis. It is good to know that Nonviolence Works is joining in the efforts of many wonderful and helpful programs already in place across the archdiocese.
Please convey my gratitude also to Philip Bradley and Elfriede Wedam for your letter on behalf of Nonviolence Works letting me know about the upcoming trainings you will be conducting in some of our parishes.
For more than 150 years, our parishes and ministries have been very present in areas marked by poverty and violence. Every day I am both proud and humbled by the commitment of those, like you, who are involved in our parishes and work to make lives matter.
As we build this framework for peace. I ask for your continued support and prayers. Assuring you of my best wishes and gratitude for all that you do, I remain.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago