Here’s the challenge: When you’re enrolling your child in Catholic school for the coming year, or perhaps for parish religious education classes, take a moment to look through the curriculum to see how many classes are spent on the topic of Gospel nonviolence.
For that matter, spend a moment and think back over your own education if you went to a Catholic high school or college. Was much time given over to exploring the nonviolent Christ or the implications of his preaching on love of enemies?
Peg Burns Kerbawy of Kansas City, Mo., has a hunch that you won’t find much material on those subjects. Of course, it’s more than a hunch. Apart from the occasional teacher who might want to emphasize the matter, nonviolence and peacemaking are subjects easily sidelined as formal areas of study in Catholic education. They move into deep and difficult waters quickly, running up against societal presumptions about power and the use of deadly force.