War Church Teaching

Church Teaching:

States have the obligation to do everything possible to ensure that the conditions of peace exist, not only within their own territory but throughout the world. It is important to remember that it is one thing to wage a war of self-defense; it is quite another to seek to impose domination on another nation. The possession of war potential does not justify the use of force for political or military objectives. Nor does the mere fact that war has unfortunately broken out mean that all is fair between the warring parties.

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Developing countries engage in arms races that they can ill afford, often with the encouragement of the superpowers. Some of the poorest countries of the world use scarce resources to buy planes, guns and other weapons when they lack the food, education and healthcare their people need. Defense policies must be evaluated and assessed, in light of their real contribution to freedom, justice and peace for the citizens of our own and other nations.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off of war.

Pope Francis

Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace… peace will be the last word of history.

Pope John Paul II

A peaceful person does more good than a learned one.

Pope John XXIII

The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone. It must not be the special interests of individuals or groups, nor unregulated competition, economic despotism, national prestige or imperialism, nor any other aim of this sort. On the contrary, all forms of economic enterprise must be governed by the principles of social justice and charity.

Pope John XXIII

There has already been enough warfare among men! Too many youths in the flower of life have shed their blood already! Legions of the dead, all fallen in battle, dwell within this earth of ours. Their stern voices urge us all to return at once to harmony, unity and a just peace.

Pope John XXIII

Two conditions render difficult this situation of mankind: It is full of tremendously deadly armament, and it has not progressed morally as much as it has scientifically.

Pope Paul VI

If you want peace, work for justice.

Pope Paul VI

The “Just War” Doctrine consists of 4 strict conditions for “legitimate defense by military force.” These are:

  1. The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain.
  2. All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.
  3. There must be serious prospects of success.
  4. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated (the power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition).

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Click on the links below for more information:

 Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis Catholic Charities