The Church’s Position onWar and Pacifism
Commandment No. 5
By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,” Jesus asks for our hearts to be peaceful.
It also implies that hatred and murderous anger are immoral.
“Prince of Peace”
Jesus is known as the “Prince of Peace.”
He brought humankind to God through forgiveness. Following in his footsteps, the Church strives to unify us as one people under God.
He stated, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Mt. 5:9
The Church’s Stance Over Time
The Catholic Church’s viewpoint on war and peace has changed and evolved over its long history.
Originally, the first Christians were pacifists. As time went on, the doctrine of the “Just War” emerged. This led to the Crusades and numerous national and global wars that have occurred to this day.
However in the present, our weapons of mass destruction and warfare technology have seriously questioned the original theory of a “Just War.”
Those who are against bloodshed and violence stand up for human rights and value the dignity of all life, as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others.
They are reminders of the evils of war and the loss of morals that can accompany it.
Warfare and Violence
All citizens and all governments should work to avoid war and violence.
Once all peace efforts have failed, governments have the right to lawful self-defense.