New and Old Wars, New and Old Challenges to Peace!


Location: 215/216 McKenna Hall and Livestreamed (View on map )

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Ukraine and a new Cold War, a new nuclear arms race, “forever wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and forgotten wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen. As foreign policies are being rethought in light of these new and old wars, the need for a moral compass is as great as ever.

At the height of the Cold War, two seminal documents, Pacem in terris (1963) and The Challenge of Peace (1983), provided that moral compass. In a similar way, Pope Francis’ encyclicals and statements have ignited a new debate about the ethics of nonviolence, nuclear deterrence, and war. Are nonviolence and nuclear disarmament the new moral and policy imperatives or do today’s new and old challenges to peace reinforce the need for the just war tradition and strengthened nuclear deterrence?

Join us for an inspiring talk by Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, followed by a panel discussion. A reception will follow the event for in-person attendees. 

Cardinal McElroy will also be presiding at the 11:30 am Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on March 1 for those who are interested in attending.

Watch the livestream

Opening Remarks:

  • Cardinal Robert W. McElroy

    Cardinal Robert W. McElroy

    Cardinal Robert W. McElroy was appointed Bishop of San Diego by Pope Francis in 2015, and elevated to Cardinal in May 2022. He received a Bachelor's degree at Harvard University, and a Master's in American History from Stanford University. Entering the seminary for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he was ordained a priest in l980 and was assigned to the parish where both his parents had been raised. Bishop McElroy served as pastor at St. Gregory Parish in San Francisco for 15 years. In l985, Archbishop John R. Quinn asked him to pursue studies in the field of Catholic Social Teaching, and he received a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a Doctorate in Political Science from Stanford University. Bishop McElroy has written two books: The Search for an American Public Theology and Morality and American Foreign Policy. In addition, he has written a series of articles on theology and public policy for a variety of journals.


    • Robert Latiff

      Major General (ret.) Robert Latiff

      Major General (ret.) Robert Latiff is an adjunct professor and chairman of the Advisory Board for Notre Dame's John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Major General in 2006, and now works as a private consultant, providing advice on advanced technology matters to corporate and government clients and to universities. His current work includes a study for the US Department of Defense on the ethical implications of emerging and dual-use technologies. He has held many leadership positions, including serving as Commander of the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center and Chief Technology Officer of Science Applications International Corporation’s space and geospatial intelligence business. He is the author of Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield  and Future Peace: Technology, Aggression, and the Rush to War.

      • Mary Ellen O'Connell

        Mary Ellen O'Connell

        Mary Ellen O'Connell is the Robert & Marion Short Professor of Law at Notre Dame's Law School and Concurrent Professor of International Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Her work is in the areas of international law on the use of force, international dispute resolution, and international legal theory. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including, most recently, The Art of Law in the International Community  and Self-Defence Against Non-State Actors. From 2010-2012, she was a vice president of the American Society of International Law and from 2005 to 2010 chaired the International Law Association Committee on the Use of Force. She holds an LLB and PhD from Cambridge University, and a JD from Columbia University.

      • A. Rashied Omar

        A. Rashied Omar

        A. Rashied Omar is associate teaching professor of Islamic studies and peacebuilding at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs. Omar earned a Master's and PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Master's in International Peace Studies from Notre Dame. He specializes in religious violence, the potential of religion for constructive social engagement, and interreligious peacebuilding. In addition to being a university-based researcher and teacher, Omar serves as imam (religious minister) at the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, a trustee of the Healing of Memories Institute in South Africa, a member of the Interfaith Council for Ethics Education, Arigatou International in Japan, and an advisory board member for Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa.

    • Gerard F. Powers

      Gerard F. Powers (Moderator)

      Gerard Powers is director of Catholic Peacebuilding Studies at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is also coordinator of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, which links 22 bishops’ conferences, Catholic development agencies, universities, and independent peace organizations in an effort to enhance the study and practice of conflict prevention, conflict management, and post-conflict reconciliation in war-torn areas. He specializes in the ethics of the use of force; religion, ethics, and U.S. foreign policy; and Catholic approaches to peacebuilding. From 1998-2004, he was director of the Office of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and from 1987-1998 was a foreign policy advisor in the same office.

Watch the livestream below: