In August 1934, still in Bonhoeffer’s London period, a major ecumenical conference too place in Fano, Denmark.  Before he promised to give his address there, he fought hard for only members of the Confessing Church to be invited from Germany.  In the Confessing Church, pastors and congregations had united previously mentioned Barmen Synod (on May 30, 1934), which spoke out against the national church (Reichskirche), controlled and unified by the National Socialists.  Bonhoeffer reached a compromise in Fano.

Only representatives of the national church were allowed; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, however, took part in the conference along with many of his former students from the University of Berlin.  His peace speech in Fano was commented upon at the time and is noted even into our own era and repeatedly quoted:

There is no way to peace along the way of safety.

For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture,

and can never be safe.  Peace is the oppposite of security.

To demand guarantees is to mistrust, and this mistrust

in turn brings forth war.  To look for guarantees is to

want to protect oneself.  Peace means giving oneself

completely  to God’s commandment, wanting no security,

but in faith and obedience laying down the destiny of the

nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to

direct it for selfish purposes.  Battles are won, not with

weapons, but with God.  They are won when the way

leads to the cross.

(Renate Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Brief Life, 33-35)

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