Pax Christi came into existence at the end of World War II. Building on the initial inspiration of Madame Marie-Marthe Dortel-Claudot, a small group of French men and women, inspired by the Gospel, had the vision, the faith and the courage to foster a movement for reconciliation.
During the 1960s the movement spread to most of Western Europe and not only grew in size and number of sections, but also put great emphasis on developing an efficient international structure. In 1963, Pax Christi International adopted Pope John XXIII’s pastoral letter: Peace on Earth as its charter. In the spirit of this document, the movement takes its inspiration from the relationship between the work of peacemaking and justice. Increasingly the issues of justice and human rights have been dealt with on both the national and international levels.
In the 1970s, Pax Christi was established as a peace movement in Australia and has been influential in peace initiatives in this country ever since. One of the key objectives of the Australian section has been to develop a strong Asia-Pacific perspective to Pax Christi’s work. The decision of the international movement to initiate a series of Asia-Pacific regional consultations was in part an outcome of these efforts. The first regional consultation took place in October 1991 in Hong Kong, the second in Bacolod, the Philippines in 1996, and the third took place in October 2001 in Bangkok.