Are assassinations ever acceptable?


Hitler hated the Pope, and I have read in history books that he was going to imprison the Pope when Germany won the war. Hitler really couldn’t take action against the pope until his victory because one, much of Germany was Catholic at the time, and any action against the pope would not be popular in Italy, and definitely not in the U.S.


I would have to say no.Every life is sacred.


That could be the exact same reason one could say “yes”


Exactly. this comment broadens the scope of the question immensely to this: I think an assassination is far more justifiable than carpet bombing and indiscriminate killing–as an act of war. Assassination as a violent political action is different.

People will disagree, but the assassination of Osama Bin Laden was an act of war, and not a political assassination, for example, although the action itself involved trapping him in a bedroom and shooting him in cold blood, as it is told. Modern war tactics are asymmetric like this, on both sides. Compared to the carnage and meat grinder effect of the destruction of the world trade center in New York, bin Laden’s death was handled in respect of Muslim custom, if you can imagine that.

Modern war is not fought like ancient wars, with two opposing lines of soldiers advancing on each other, and fighting hand to hand.


It is NEVER morally acceptable to take another’s life for political motivations.


That was my previous argument. Then I read this

So it seems they are acceptable on a military target in a just war. God Bless!


Why? I would argue that they are the most justifiable target. Are we to assume that the leaders are immune to the decisions they make and the people they give orders to are the only ones subject to the consequences? It seems to me that you have created too much of a distinction between the leaders and the people.


That is the opinion I tended to lean to as well. But Pius XII is far more knowledgable than me.


This is what I was thinking about:

I just missed this post with the link.


He never did get assasinated. But others have. I think it would help your analysis if you referred to cases of actual successful assasinations. Was it worth it and so on?
You can start with Soviet Communists and they killed each other when they had the chance. Was Trotsky killed worth it? How about the horrible Yaguda who ran the NKVB and gulags? He was observed killed by others. He died. Yet - what was was accomplushed?
I believe - never kill a horrible dictator. Catch them and give them food, a bed, a notebook and a pen. Then you will find out about the rest of the network.


No, the enemy high command is a legitimate military target, regardless of where the front is.


There were dozens of attempts on Hitler’s life. Ironically, only Hitler could kill Hitler.


Please reference my changed answer, which I posted after more in-depth



I’d agree with this.

In traditional wars before the modern age, the emperor or the king was right on the battlefield commanding the forces. If you aimed for the king’s tent or position and took him out–I don’t see the difference between that and modern war, aiming to take out Hitler in Fuhrer Bunker.


Every nation uses spies, but spies are not protected by the Geneva Conventions. Any spy captured by the enemy is subject to summary execution or life imprisonment, which is something they know when they sign up. Captured spies are often exchanged for each other, but they make no guarantees.


Refer to previous response


We, those who follow Christ do not participate in this worlds wars…we are representatives of The Healer of Nations.


Here’s a short, yet informative article, that I think is helpful in this regard:


Once the war had begun, it would no longer be an “assassination”; rather it would be an act of war, so the only question is whether the war is a just one.


I would hope that “we, those who follow Christ” would not stand idly by watching Nazis kill millions of Jewish people on the basis that we “do not participate in this world’s wars”.

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