Can you be catholic and a pacifist ?

Hello just wondering about this , the above question and also apply to war etc .
Thanks chuck

No because a Catholic must oppose grave evil attacking others even if that means using violence to protect people from attackers CCC 2307-2317

However I must say that those occasions are rare and indeed more often it is tool used to oppress to conquer and to exploit and behind the facade of so called noble wars and crusades is greed and therefore evil.

So to answer the OP I must say whatever the bravery the dignity the virtues of the armed forces of today and the past they rarely keep us safe and rarely are used for the mission the Church says they must fight. They kill innocents rather than protect they are like the Duke of Wellington said ours scum of is the earth

Oh Catechism, how wonderful you are.

If someone is going to perform harm on my family, properly applied iolence will be inflicted upon their personage.

That’s not what CCC 2307-2317 says.

It does not say that Catholics must oppose attackers even if it means using violence.

It doesn’t say that. Those words, or even words which imply that, are not there.

I just read it like six or seven times and that’s not what it says.


Make my day, right?

Yes, wonderful.


I never said that violence must be used I said even if of course violence is a last resort

What I mean to say is if someone is being attacked and every means to stop it has been exhausted then we as Catholics must oppose that act even if violence is used

Then what does it say? Direct quotes tend to do more to educate than “Nuh-UH!” ever will.

2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.

However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed."106

Other comments to the contrary, and without actually breaking out my CCC to look it up, I don’t think there’s anything there that requires Catholics to oppose evil with violence. If you want to be a pacifist, help yourself. Just bear in mind 1) that (at least in the U.S.), the freedom to be a pacifist was won and is maintained by non-pacifists, and 2) that there are people who believe that “pacifist” is another word for “prey.”

“…MAY oppose that act even if violence is used.” Not must.

I assert that catholics CAN choose to be total pacifists, but that we are not compelled to it. I respect pacifists for their personal courage, but I reject their assertions that those willing to use violence to defend the innocent against unjust agressors are committing sin.

without actually bothering to look it up as while it is a moral principle that evil must be opposed and that being lukewarm wrong then if that’s true after all other options are exhausted violence is the last recourse and must be used

Jesus don’t use violence to defend himself, and he could have brought ten legions of angels to do so.

Ditto the martyrs.

Pacifism is probably the most heroic option, though Catholics are allowed to use violence a the CCC says.

Pacifism does not equal cowardice.

On the other hand using violence does not necessarily equal courage.

And likewise pacifism does not equal courage. I can think of nothing explicit in Catholic teaching that says a Catholic cannot be a pacifist. But it seems to me to go against the Catholic mindset. I cannot put my finger on it, but absolute pacifism does not seem very Catholic to me.
I think of the 1000 year war between Islam and Christendom, which was very much a war waged on Christendom with the goal of annihilating Christianity from the face of the earth. Absolute pacifism would have said “let them succeed”.

Agreed. :thumbsup:

As much as I want peace to be given a chance and as much as I hate the military complex of western nation like the USA and Great Britain who jumped at the opportunity to go to war only to find it blowing up in their faces I do see a theoretical possibility that war is necessarily but i doubt its real world use almost entirely

I do admire many Pacifist like Dorthy Day but I do see the moral necessity to use war as a last resort but one that is almost never used by Catholics in the modern world a because too often we Catholics have used war immorally and supported immoral wars as a national duty

However you cannot make a blanket statement that all war is wrong always in the past present or future

I thought in general the Fransicans would be considered pacifists. I think that there are a number of orders and groups that lean that way.

i don’t believe the Jesuits are in that group.:knight1:

St Thomas Aquinas says: I answer that, In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. **And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. **And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Romans 13:4): “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. **Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Psalm 81:4): “Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner”; **and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”


Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine’s works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1): **“True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.” For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): “The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war.”

And here he writes: Reply to Objection 1. **Not to resist evil may be understood in two ways. First, in the sense of forgiving the wrong done to oneself, and thus it may pertain to perfection, when it is expedient to act thus for the spiritual welfare of others. **[And] **Secondly, in the sense of tolerating patiently the wrongs done to others: and this pertains to imperfection, or even to vice, if one be able to resist the wrongdoer in a becoming manner. **Hence Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 27): “The courage whereby a man in battle defends his country against barbarians, or protects the weak at home, or his friends against robbers is full of justice”: even so our Lord says in the passage quoted [Luke 6:30 “Of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again”; Cf. Matthew 5:40, " . . . thy goods, ask them not again." If, however, a man were not to demand the return of that which belongs to another, he would sin if it were his business to do so: for it is praiseworthy to give away one’s own, but not another’s property. And much less should the things of God be neglected, for as Chrysostom [Hom. v in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says, “it is most wicked to overlook the wrongs done to God.”

Note that here St Thomas Aquinas talks about two different reasons for avoiding the use of violence; one which refers to defending oneself, one which refers to defending others.

So I think that Catholics can be pacifists only in a very limited sense.

You can give peace a chance…

…I’ll cover you if it doesn’t work out! :D:thumbsup:

:smiley: :rotfl: :thumbsup:

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