Category Archives: Just War

Knights of Christ or of Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump

I recently received my newest edition of “Columbia” magazine by the Knights of Columbus. An article was about a Knight who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Unfortunately, besides a little about the prayer life of the man who received the medal, the Knights did not delve deeper on the morality and justness of the war in Afghanistan, especially after Osama bin Laden was killed (of course, in Pakistan and not Afghanistan), which is when the events occurred for this sailor to receive the award. Instead, we just got platitudes about defending freedom and doing your duty. Are my brother Knights of the Prince of Peace or Knights of the Military–Industrial Complex? Christ told us it would be hard to follow Him; it is too easy to go along to get along in general society, which celebrates militarism and war.

Great News!

We were delighted to receive this email from Fr. Bernard Survil, Member of “The Friends of Franzand Ben,” administrators of the website: bensalmon.org/. We are glad Fr. Bernard will be helping to break the silence about militarism and war in the American Catholic Church.

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First to thank you for producing the collection basket protest for the Collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services scheduled to take place in my diocese the coming weekend, Nov 16-17th.

I have reproduced around 1,500 copies which will be distributed to people attending Mass at our Cathedral Parish and several parishes nearby.

Then to suggest CAM include on the Resources pages under the heading “Conscientious Objection” an invitationto sign the Petition to Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicagoregarding initiating the process for the beatification of BEN SALMON. That is done by:

  1. going to the website http://www.bensalmon.org  
  2. then scrolling down to the yellow background area and clicking “Sainthood” 
  3. then filling out the info asked for, as well as offering a comment (over 250 comments are already viewable onthe same site)
  4. then click “Submit.”

People sometimes tell the webmaster they did this buttheir endorsement doesn’t show up. As a backup, one can leave a message at 724-523-0291 giving the name of the caller, phone number, and the message: “Today(date) I endorsed the Petition to Cardinal Cupich regarding BEN SALMON.”

Fr. Bernard Survil, Member of “The Friends of Franzand Ben,” administrators of the website: bensalmon.org/
and listed among the “Starter-Endorsers: Rev Charles E. McCarthy, Newton, MA”

Moral Charade

The following was written by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy:

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The Institutional Churches’ Moral Charade Regarding Gospel Nonviolence Marches On!

“Dear military Ordinaries and military chaplains: As you carry out your mission to form the consciences of the members of the armed forces, I encourage you to spare no effort to enable the norms of international humanitarian law to be accepted in the hearts of those entrusted to your pastoral care,” 

“The Second Vatican Council calls those in military service ‘custodians of the security and freedom of their people.’ The servants of Christ in the military world are also the first to be at the service of men and women and of their fundamental rights,” said Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace Oct. 31, 2019, as he met with military chaplains from around the world as they participated in a formation course on international humanitarian law hosted by the Vatican.

This same Pope Francis in an address to the International Theological Commission on January 15, 2014 said,

The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible. It is precisely because of [Christ’s] refusal of violence, because of his having overcome evil with good, with the blood of his Cross, that Jesus has reconciled men to God and each other”  

 On August 19, 2013, he said,

“The true force of the Christian is the force of truth and of love, which means rejecting all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible! Faith and violence are incompatible! But faith and strength go together. The Christian is not violent, but he strong. And with what strength? That of meekness, the force of meekness, the force of love.” – Pope Francis, (8/19/13)

Commentary:

How about instead of the Pope telling the military bishops and priests that they should work diligently to assure that “the norms of international humanitarian law to be accepted in the hearts of those entrusted to your pastoral care,” they be told by that they should spare no effort in assuring that the norms of the Sermon on the Mount, the norm of Jesus in the Gospels,, e.g., “love your enemies,” “put up your sword,” “love one another as I have loved you ,” accepted into the hearts of those entrusted to your pastoral care.

Pray tell what are the “norms of international humanitarian law” in regards to the mass slaughter of human beings in war. “Humanitarian laws of war” is an oxymoron. (Oxymoron is derived from the Greek ‘oxumoron’ meaning “pointedly foolish.”) The “norms of international humanitarian law” are as porous, as slippery, as wide open to indefinite interpretation as the norms of Catholic Just War Theory. They are the Deceiver’s tool to get people to believe that war can be conducted humanely, just as Christian Just War Theory is the Deceiver’s PR tool to get Christians to believe they can be good and faithful disciples of Jesus as they go forth to slaughter people named by politicians “the enemy.” The norms of international humanitarian laws of war are something Jesus never taught or could never teach because war intrinsically requires violence and enmity— even if done according to the norms of international humanitarian laws. And, violence and enmity are forever outside of what a person committed to obedience to Jesus, to Jesus’ “new commandment, love as Jesus loves,” could ever morally participate in.

How about a Vatican formation course for military bishops and priests on the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies?

How is a person a servant of Christ in the military and to military personnel unless he is telling the truth that Jesus taught to at least the Christians involved in the military world, that is, in the world where people spend their life’s time learning to kill and killing other human beings on the command of others or ordering such killing. The truth of Jesus, as Pope Francis once proclaimed, is “Faith and violence are incompatible! Faith and violence are incompatible…The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible. ” So why didn’t the Pope say to the Catholic military bishops and priests of the world gather before him:

“Dear military Ordinaries and military chaplains: As you carry out your mission to form the consciences of the members of the armed forces, I encourage you to spare no effort in teaching that Faith and violence are incompatible! The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible; ” teaching it so thoroughly that this truth of God and Jesus be accepted in the hearts of those entrusted to your pastoral care.” 

 I do not know why the Pope refused to speak this clear truth of Jesus, which he full well knows, to the military bishops and priests. But what I do know is that if he refuses to vigorously proclaim this teaching of Jesus to the very people who are ignoring it, disobeying it, defying it and calling their bracketing out of it faithful Christin discipleship, to whom is he going to proclaim this teaching with vigor and authority? Dorothy Day?

Omnicidal Tendencies

Jeremy Scahill interviews Liz McAlister, one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 and wife of the late Phil Berrigan, on The Intercept podcast titled “Omnicidal Tendencies.” You can listen here: https://theintercept.com/2019/10/23/omnicidal-tendencies-the-nuclear-presidency-of-donald-trump/

On a whim, I Googled Jeremy Scahill, whom I’ve admired for years, and it turns out he was raised by two Catholic activists and spent a year living at Jonah House, founded by Phil and Liz. Here is some more information on that:

“The Blackwater scandal of American (and other) mercenaries in Iraq and elsewhere popped up on my radar as yet another dark chapter in this national nightmare surrounding Iraq. Yet I didn’t explore it as much as I would have liked (or should have) until channel-surfing the other night I came across a Bill Moyers’ interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of an impressive book of investigative reporting on Blackwater. The interview and parsing of the media counter-attack by Blackwater CEO Erik Prince was illuminating, and chilling. And Scahill’s dedication, work and presentation were beyond impressive, to me.
I was not aware, however, that Scahill and Prince are both Catholic, until last night I read an Oct 12 profile of Scahill in NCR. Scahill was raised in a Catholic Worker home, and went to live at Jonah House with the Berrigans in Baltimore for a year in the 1990’s. 
It had a profound impact on me, he told NCR. I think that being alive in the times that we live in means to be a resister…For me, media is a nonviolent weapon in that struggle.”

Catholic antipodes
By David Gibson
October 21, 2007
Commonweal
https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/catholic-antipodes

First Day of Trial

Outside the courthouse for the first day of the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares activists. We interviewed three of them on the podcast back in August: Martha Hennessy, Carmen Trotta and Clare Grady.

Below are some speeches they gave last night at the eve of the trial. Both of these videos have been taken from the Kings Bay Plowshares Facebook page and were posted by Steve Dear.

Latest podcasts!

Don’t miss the latest podcasts.

Meet the Catholic activists involved in the Kings Bay Plowshare movement.

And I was delighted to have an interesting conversation with Fr. Brian McNavish about refugees, militarism, pacifism, Just War Theory, and more!

In three short months we’ve made it to 10 episodes! Thanks for listening and if you find the content compelling, please spread the word. You can also send suggestions for future guests to contact@catholicsagainstmilitarism.com.

Question from a viewer

Anyone have an answer to this? –Cammy

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Hello,
     I saw an interesting interview that a lady with your organization did with a gentleman named E. Michael Jones.  I really appreciated the interview, subscribed to the Youtube channel so I can see more, and read the manifesto and f.a.q. on your website.     

I am writing because I want to know if you know of anyone who has done a Catholic analysis of Proxy War.  I think that waging war by proxy poses a number of serious ethical issues that are relevant both to questions of Jus ad Bellumand Jus in Bello, which need to be analyzed separately from analyses of conventional war.  War by proxy seems to be the rule, and not the exception, and probably more so than at any other point in history (being what President Eisenhower cynically called “The cheapest insurance in the world”).  And while I do believe it is possible that a conventional war could be just, I have not been able to figure out whether war by proxy is malum in se.  I have strong suspicions that it is intrinsically evil.  If you can think of any articles or interviews that focus in this, and that could help me think through the many issues involved, I would be grateful to know.  If you can find someone with expertise, I dare to suggest that it would make a fascinating subject for an interview.  But I do not know of any Catholic moral theologians who have dealt with this issue.  If you find or know of any, please let me know.  And thank you for the work you are doing; these are important conversations that will have to continue to go on for as long as boys become men.  I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, though thanks to God not a veteran of war (as I do not believe that the wars fought in my lifetime have been just).       Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, [anonymous]

Email from a Viewer

Hi,

I’m enjoying your podcast and I particularly liked your interviews with Mike (EMJ) and Captain Carmody even though the latter was harrowing at times. There is another podcast on the Nick Turse book called “Kill Anything That Moves” that exposed what happened in Vietnam and the farcical My Lai “enquiry” which was using the truth to hide the wider truth and that was similar to the exposure of the “Abu Garib” torture incidents in Iraq. The lads discuss the conflicts of the 20th century using an unbiased and objective approach and, in the case of Yugoslavia, they get some of it wrong but most is accurate. I just thought it might be of interest to you (see youtube link). 

I’m reading a book at the moment entitled “The Remnants of War” by John Mueller that was written just after the Iraq and Afghanistan military interventions. Mueller proposes the contention that War between civilized nations is becoming less “popular” to such an extent that it’s becoming an anachronism. Mueller is a former (I think) policy maker who’s at Ohio University, (I think) where he lectures, and his book is preposterous because the glaring contradictions in the book with events back when it was written make his premise completely absurd. However it is useful in gaining an insight into these people’s ideas and thoughts which are fixated on World War 2 mythology. They want to present a picture to the public where Anglo America and the allies are the good guys and the enemy is “Hitler”. In Mueller’s book he wanted to portray Anglo America as part of a global police force helping to manage Governments all over the World to “police” the “thugs and outlaws” who “cause trouble”. I suppose that involves outrageous ideas like having an independent country and “stuff” like that.

My advice is to find out if World War 2, and indeed the previous War and the Spanish intervention etc were necessary. They came nowhere near meeting the conditions for Just War. The World War 2 myth is the most pervasively used lie and I recommend you to explore what really went on. Hitler had sued for peace and Churchill agreed and the decision to go to War wasn’t saving anyone apart from Churchill’s house. David Irving is controversial but he is undoubtedly an excellent historian and he uses genuine documentation and archived records. The myth of World War 2 continues to prevail and that’s deadly for all of us. That’s at the root cause of continued misadventures that have cost lives and disastrous consequences for the entire World. Hope you continue to seek the truth, raise consciousness and make people see that violence is counter productive and destructive for all who engage in it. Good luck with the podcast.

Tim’s podcasts are good too

Thanks

Attachments areaPreview YouTube video Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Preview YouTube video Nick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. InterventionismNick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. Interventionism