Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
If all men did the will of Christ there would be no war. But if some people refuse to do the will of Christ, those who desire to fulfill His will may be compelled to fight and may quite lawfully do so.
An individual is free to practice heroic meekness where his own rights are concerned, if he so desires. But, when smitten on one cheek, it must be his own cheek he turns to endure further injuries, not somebody else's. If you saw some bully flogging an innocent child, it would not be virtue on your part to allow the bully to go on doing so. Whatever you might be prepared to suffer on your own part, it would be your duty to prevent the continued suffering of the child, even though you had to attack and damage the bully.
No. The father of a family may have the patience of Job in his own trials, but he has the duty to defend his wife and children from harm at the hands of others. If he neglects to do so he cannot claim that he is imitating the meekness of Christ. Christ nowhere teaches that we must allow others to suffer unjustly. Now civil society is simply domestic society on a larger scale. And the responsible leaders or guardians of the State are obliged to see that the lives and property and welfare of the citizens are preserved from danger. If, owing to the malice of others, there is no means of doing this save by taking up arms, opposing violence to violence, war is lawful.
Firstly, I object to your description of non-Catholic Churches as stepchildrenof the Catholic Church. A stepchild is born of one party to a subsequent legitimatemarriage. Now the original union between Christ and the Catholic Church has never been broken; and neither the Catholic Church nor Christ ever gave birth to any non-Catholic Churches. Therefore those Chuches cannot be described as stepchildren of the Catholic Church. Secondly, you are in error when you say that the Church officially proclaims that warfare is not incompatible with the mind of Christ. You ought to be aware that the Pope has officially proclaimed again and again that peace is the only thing compatible with the mind of Christ, and that he has declared his one ambition to be the securing of the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ prevailing in all human hearts. And he has declared that it is his prayer that God may scatter those nations that delight in war.
I could reply simply by denying the fact. Your very question begs the question. However I will give you this much explanation. By being members of the international Catholic Church, people do not cease to belong to their own countries and retain duties in the sphere of national loyalty. And the leaders of the Catholic Church in any given country are as justified in urging their spiritual subjects to fulfill what they believe to be duty to the country as they are justified in urging men to be honest in business, or in urging children to fulfill their duties to their parents. It used to be the charge that Catholics, because of their international religion, could not be loyal to their respective countries. You quarrel with them for exhibiting loyalty. In no case do Catholic leaders, however, urge men on "to fight and kill one another." They may urge men to vindicate their country's cause, to defend it against defeat, to secure its rights. The purpose is, not to kill others, but to safeguard one's own national welfare. If this is impossible without war, and the death of enemies, then that may have to be unfortunately tolerated. But to concentrate on that unhappy consequence and speak as if it were the primary intention is a fallacy. You might just as well blame Surgical Schools for training men "to butcher people with knives." They have a higher purpose than that—the welfare of their patients.And the primary purpose of an army is the welfare of the country whose cause it must defend, and to join which can easily be a duty in times of national danger.
Catholic theology sets out all the principles according to which a war is just or unjust. If, however, two nations engage in war, we pass from the juridical order to the factual order. The decision now will concern the application of the principles to an actual case. Who is the authority which decides which party has acted in accordance with just principles, and which party has violated them? Unfortunately, the nations today acknowledge no competent international authority. The Pope could, and would be willing to give a sound judgment, did the conflicting parties submit their cases to him, with full documentary evidence of the matters in dispute. But they will not submit to his arbitration, and, therefore, must be content with such tribunals as they do acknowledge. They have established the "League of Nations," and the "Hague Court"; but these are not satisfactory because the nation which receives an unfavorable verdict will not accept it. However, since these are the only authorities the nations will acknowledge, they must restrict complaints of failure to themselves and their accepted tribunals. Certainly it is not reasonable to blame the Catholic Church, whose judgment is not even sought.