CAM Statements of Protest
These were originally intended for the collection for AMS in November 2013 but may be useful at other times when militarism is allowed or encouraged during Mass or at your local Catholic church.
Catholic Cost of War
Letters, Encyclicals, Messages, Speeches, etc.
Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII, April 11, 1963
The Church in the Modern World, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1965
Messages Addressed to the World by Pope Paul VI, 1968-1978
Message of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, for the celebration of the Day of Peace, January 1, 1979
Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), Pope John Paul II, 1980
The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, a Pastoral Letter on War and Peace by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, May 3, 1983
Statement on Iraq, USCCB, November 13, 2002
Message of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2004
Address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Diplomatic Corps, January 13, 2003
Statement on Iraq, USCCB, February 26, 2003
Angelus Message, Pope John Paul II, March 16, 2003
The Catechism in a Post-Christian World, Interview with Cardinal Ratzinger, 30 Days, April 2003
Lumen Fidei, Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Francis, June 29, 2013
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Found in the Catechism under Part Three, Life in Christ – > The Ten Commandments – > You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself – > The Fifth Commandment (Thou Shalt Not Kill) – > Respect for Human Life – > Safeguarding Peace – > Avoiding War is a brief sketch (15 lines or so) of the conditions that must be met before a state can claim legitimate defense by military force, otherwise known as the Christian Just War Theory, frequently referred to but rarely taught or addressed in homilies, and mistakenly understood by the majority of Catholics to be, simply, “It is wrong to kill except in war.”
Catholicism and the Just War [Defense] Tradition: A six-part video series on YouTube, each part less than 10 minutes long, made by an educator, about Just War with some commentary and historical perspective. Well done and worth a watch!
Christian Just War Theory: The Logic of Deceit, a powerful exhortation, the secondary purpose of which is “to critique the Christian Just War Theory (CJWT),” and the primary purpose of which is “to invalidate CJWT forever.” It was written by a Catholic priest of the Eastern Rite, one who could surely be described as a voice crying out in the wilderness, and is well worth the read if you have first familiarized yourself with the official teachings and with what appears in the above section of the Catechism.
Behold the Lamb, audio/video series on Gospel Nonviolence by Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, a priest of the Eastern Rite (Byzantine) of the Catholic Church. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work on behalf of peace within people and among people.
We have posted more under “Documentaries and Films” on our blog but these are a few of our favorites:
Joyeaux Noel (2005), On Christmas Eve during world War I, the Germans, French, and Scottish fraternize and get to know the men who live on the opposite side of a brutal war, in what became a true lesson of humanity.
Father George Zabelka, The Reluctant Prophet, Biography; As a young priest and active duty officer in World War II, Father George Zabelka was the chaplain who offered spiritual reassurance to the crews of the bomber planes that dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The conflict grew for him between his identity as a Catholic priest and his identity as a military chaplain.
Of Gods and Men (2010), Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005): A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, a young woman and one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.
The Catholic Peace Tradition: This book is a history of the peace tradition in the Roman Catholic Church from the time of the Gospels to the twentieth century. Its purpose is to show that there is a continuing, unbroken, and self-sustaining stream within Catholicism from the martyrs and pacifists of the early church to John XXIII and the peacemakers of our time.
Classic Essays and Reflections
War is the Health of the State, Randolph Bourne (1918)
War is a Racket, Major General Smedley Butler (1935)
Politics and the English Language, George Orwell (1946)
Just War, Murray Rothbard (1994)
The War Prayer, Mark Twain
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare; This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth.
The Violent Reaction to Violence A cute YouTube video that asks, “What’s up with the violent reaction people usually have when you question the use of violence as a means to an end?”
When Rome Started Burning Music video that asks some good questions.