Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can Priests Go To War?

As the whispers of Catholic persecution in our country begin a slow crescendo, it was good to be reminded about what St. Thomas Aquinas says about whether or not priests can fight. The article can be read by clicking here.


  1. War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again, y'all

  2. Save the left-wing slogans. War has done a lot of good. War time and again saved Christendom and the Church fathers have called for, paid for, and even instigated war when it was deemed necessary. That said, it is not the job of the clergy to fight. It's the job of the laity to defend Mother Church.

  3. And how many Jews and people of other faiths died because the "Church" was forcing them to either convert or die? Many wars were fought just because the Pope was involved with political movements that wanted a specific world view. What would have happened during the Reformation if Catholics had instead of fighting the Protestants said, some of your points have merit, and lets work together. Instead countless people died. Jews were killed during the Inquisition. The Catholic Church should make a statement that it's official stance is Peace and will not take sides during wars. Much like Switzerland. I know that many times they do. Quakers don't fight and aren't forced to fight, because of their religious beliefs. This should be the way the Catholic Church should move.

  4. War among men defiles this world.

    T. S. ELIOT

  5. Regarding the so-called "Reformation", the Catholics weren't "fighting" the Protestants - they were defending against them. The Protestants pillaged churches, convents and abbeys and many times killed the priests and raped and killed the nuns. If one looks at the historical record more people were burned at the stake by Protestants than were by Catholics. The "Inquisition" as you use it is a misnomer. I can only assume that you are referring to the Spanish Inquisition which operated completely under royal authority in Spain and was independent of the Holy See. And when compared to the security apparatus of the Elizabethan England, the only differnce was the language spoken by the interrogators.

    War is evil, but at time necessary. Do you think the slaves would have been freed sooner or later if there weren't a Civil War? It has been estimated that 100,000 civilians died at the hands of the Japanese during WWII. Do you really think that would have stopped on its own? Do you think Hitler was just misunderstood and could have been reasoned with to let European Jews live? I guess in your eyes the Soviet Union should have capitulated the minute Hitler attacked. I suggest you study the "Just War Doctrine" and try to wrap your mind around the reality that sometimes the only way one can defend himself is by the destruction of his enemy.

  6. No Jews were killed by the Inquisition. Only Catholics ever came before the Inquisition. While it's true that some Jews converted to Catholicism and didn't mean it, the idea was never to target Jews. Either learn your history, the real history, or shut up.

  7. Also, the Inquisition was not a war, so it is irrelevent to this conversation.

  8. One last thing, for decades Pope Pius XII has been slammed by liberal Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and all other types for supposedly remaining "silent" in the face of the Hitler atrocities. This is a very unfair slander, but my point here is not to refute it, which it done elsewhere, such as the book "The Myth of Hitler's Pope". My point is instead that these people want to have it both ways. They want to say the Church should not take sides in a war-- not even in the culture war-- and then they want the Church to pay for such neutrality in the aftermath of evil.

    May good help me to become more charitable to such fools as the person who wrote the 3rd comment in this thread.

  9. -“Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.” (Lu 6.27)

    -“Do not use force against an evil man.” ( Mt 5.39 )

    -“Do not resist evil with evil.” “Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Lu 6.37 )

    -“Do not be anxious about your life.”( Lu 12.22)

    -“He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.”(Mat 26.52)

    -“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Mat 7.12 )

    -“Do not return evil for evil.” ( 1 Pet 3.9 )

    -“Overcome evil with good.”( Rom 12.21 )

    -“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Rom 12.19 )

    -“ First take the log out of your own eye.”
    ( Luk 6.42 )

  10. Well, then. If you just quote some scripture, this will erase 2000 years of Just War doctrine that the Church has followed.

    This is absurd. I can google scripture passages to sup[port Just War too. Like these:

    Gen. 15:14-21 – God blesses Abram through the priest-king Melchizedek after Abram’s war victory over Chedorlaomer and his cohorts. Melchizedek offers a bread and wine sacrifice in thanksgiving for Abram’s victory and Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils.

    Ex. 15:3 – “The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name.”

    Deut. 1:41; 20:1,12,19-20; 21:10; Jos. 6:3; Joel 3:9 – some examples where the Lord commands war when the reasons are justified.

    Prov. 20:18 – “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.”

    Num. 1:3-45; 21:14; 26:2; 31:3-53; 32:6-27; Jos. 4:13; 10:5,7,24; 11:7,18,23; 14:11,15; 17:1; 22:12,33; Judges 3:1-2,10; 18:11,16-17; 20:17; 1 Sam. 8:12; 16:18; 17:20; 18:5; 19:8; 23:8; 2 Sam. 11:7; 22:35; 2 Kings 18:20; 24:16; 25:4,9; 1 Chron. 7:2-40; 8:40; 12:1-38; 2 Chron. 26:13; Prov. Job 38:23; Psalm 18:34; Cant. 3:8; Jer. 39:18; 45:5; Judt. 5:1; Dan. 11:10; Wis. 8:15; Sir. 46:3; Bar. 3:26 – more Old Testament examples where God approves of war.

    Matt. 8:5-13 – Jesus praises a Roman centurion warrior for his faith and cures the centurion’s servant. Jesus would not have responded to the prayer of an evil man unless it was a prayer of repentance. Obviously, although the centurion was a soldier, Jesus did not consider him an evil man, but a very faithful man, even more faithful than anyone else in Israel.

    Luke 14:31 – Jesus acknowledges the legitimacy of war in this parable.

    Luke 19:27 – Jesus says “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.” Jesus teaches that not all killing is intrinsically evil.

  11. (cont)

    Luke 22:36 – Jesus says “let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.” Jesus encourages the legitimate defense against an aggressor.

    Acts 10:2 – God responds favorably to another centurion’s prayer (Cornelius of the Italian Cohort), even though he was a soldier. The soldier’s “prayers and alms ascended as a memorial before God.”

    Heb. 11:32-34 – Paul praises Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and Samuel who conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, became mighty in war and put foreign armies to flight. These men engaged in the legitimate defense of the people of God and were praised for their faithfulness.

    Rom. 13:3-4 – Paul commends us to those in authority, and exalts a man who “does not bear the sword in vain.” Paul calls such a man “the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.”

    2 Cor. 10:3-4; 1 Tim. 1:18; Heb. 11:34; James 4:1; 1 Peter 2:11; Apoc. 2:16; 11:7; 12:7; 17:14; 19:11,19 – these New Testament passages reveal that the real war to be won is the spiritual war against the flesh and the devil.

    Eccl. 3:3– the inspired writer says that there is “a time to kill.” We look to the Church, the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) to understand when such a time exists. As we have seen, in the context of military action, this time exists only when it is: necessary to repel an aggressor; all other means of repelling the aggressor have been ineffective; there is serious prospects of success; the damage inflicted by the aggressor is lasting, grave and certain; and, the evils and disorders produced by the war must not be graver than the evil eliminated, that is, the act of defense must be proportionate to the aggressor’s offense.

    "let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one" (Luke 22:36).

    there is "a time to kill" (Eccles. 3:3).

    The Second Vatican Council said: "insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ" (Gaudium et Spes 78).

    Nearly every Church father agreed with Just War doctrine, from Ambrose to Augustine to Aquinas.

    Catholics hope for peace and work for peace, but they are not required to be pacifists in a world overrun by evil.

    1. And those Church Fathers were wrong, because it went against what Jesus himself said. Most of the above quotes in support of the so called "Just War" doctrine come from either an apostle or other follower of Jesus or from the Old Testament. Jesus is the new covenant, not the old covenant. The quotes from above in favor of Peace are predominantly from Jesus himself, not all the quotes but most are from Jesus.

  12. Well, nice of you to tell us our Faith is wrong. I look forward to your theological works that surpass Summa Theologica and the City of God since you know better than the fools who wrote those.

  13. Only on Just War. The Just War doctrine was used for ill so many times during the crusades, it's not funny.

    1. Knives can be used for ill. That doesn't make them wrong. There is plenty of scriptural support for Just War, including from the mouth of Christ himself.

      But frankly, you're boring me. The Inquistition, the Crusades, blah, blah, blah. As if the Crusades were not a just defense against clear aggression from Islam and heretics...

      When are pedaphile priests going to show up? Maybe the Black Legend? Perhaps we can squeeze in Indulgences too?

  14. There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.

  15. Your idea of dialogue among the religions really means a compromise of truth. Peace at the expense of truth is not anything to be desired. If it were, Christ would have skipped his whole ministry and kept building chairs and tables. He would have had a lot more peace, and the world would still be in darkness.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

  16. The problem with just war from the perspectives of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine is that their view is not focused toward the actual words of Christ, but to philosophy and through that lens to Aristotle. The problem with so much of theology is that it is based almost solely on philosophy and not in scripture and history.