Pax Christi International, the Brussels-based Catholic peace movement, elected a lay woman and an archbishop as co-presidents. The move to co-presidency for a position usually held by a bishop alone "returns [Pax Christi] to its roots and lifts up a model of shared leadership in the Catholic Church," according to the peace group.
Democratic Republic of the Congo's Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo and Marie Dennis, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in Washington, D.C., will begin their three-year tenure when current president Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem completes his term. Additionally, Pax Christi International's Secretary General Etienne de Jonghe will be succeeded by Claudette Werleigh, former prime minister of Haiti.
Monsengwo has been an outspoken critic of the Kabila government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a leader in promoting African unity and religious tolerance. Dennis has worked extensively in Latin America and Africa. She is chair of the Religious Working Group on the World Bank and IMF and was named one of Pax Christi USA's "Ambassadors of Peace."