Though I have not the time to make it now, I am of the opinion that Catholics must be pacifists or, at bare minimum, anti-war to remain within the bounds of what Christ wanted (I am undecided as to where I stand). Fr. Longnecker, longtime blogger around the internets, makes the case that pacifism can be a part of Catholicism, which should be obvious. Even so, he lists 4 points all Catholics should take to heart:
1. When a person joins up to fight a war he or she must be totally loyal to his country and its leadership. This means the Christian soldier must swear allegiance to a worldly power and be willing to lay down his life for that power. Do we know of any worldly power that has the same aims and objectives of the Christian faith?
2. Wars are invariably fought to claim or defend worldly riches and power. Claims that wars are for “the defense of freedom” or “to liberate people from tyranny” or any other idealistic motives are usually false. They are public relations efforts–propaganda to get the masses behind the military machine of those in power.
3. When a person swears total allegiance to a worldly power and is prepared to lay down his life for that power he is very likely to be blind to the weaknesses and faults of that worldly power. This leads to a fearful loss of autonomy in the individual and a widening of power of the state over individuals. His total allegiance and obligation to follow orders may lead the individual into a blind commission of terrible sin.
4. Christ the Lamb teaches us that violence is not the answer. Christ’s way is to save others through identification with their suffering and to redeem them through an embrace of the suffering itself. This is also the example of the martyrs.
More to come soon…