Question about unjust war

Is it a sin for a soldier to kill an enemy combatant in an unjust war?

Yes, but not a mortal sin if they did not know it was unjust.

No. In combat, killing enemies is a form of self-defense since they will kill you if they don’t. It is only a sin if the enemy combatant surrendered and you still killed him.

Is it for the soldier to make that determination?

No. Of course a soldier can and should make determinations about individual acts such as avoiding harm to innocent non-combatants, treating prisoners humanely and not participating in genocidal acts but that’s the same whether the war is unjust or not.

If he is aware that it is unjust.

I’m sorry paleocon, I believe you are incorrect for several reasons.

First, no individual soldier can really have that knowledge, particularly when wartime often leads to propaganda such that no one really has the correct facts. In WWII German soldiers all wore belt buckles engraved with wording translating as “God is with us,” and I’m sure they thought He was.

Also, “just war” is an open concept. Again in WWII, Germany attacked Russia. That was unjust…but so too were Russia’s atrocities in conquering Germany, which included rapes of civilian women by the thousands (if not millions), so much so that the red army was described by one author as “an army of rapists.” Were average German foot soldiers required to let red army troops rape old women and pregnant women indiscriminately (which happened)? You are making waaaay too sweeping a statement by your post.

To answer the question, I’d say no.

By definition, the statement I made accounts for misinformation.

Nevertheless, if the pretext of the war were openly to launch a war of conquest, for example, he would be obliged to refuse to fight.

So because the nazi government seized power in 1933 and attacked Russia in 1941, the private in the German army is morally required to let the red hordes rape his grandmother and his 11 year old niece?

Keep digging to find the Vatican document that requires that.

What on Earth …

No, he may use force necessary against the aggressors to prevent such a crime.

Meanwhile the price of tea on Neptune hasn’t changed.

Yes, this is 1950 America when it was correct to label Russian soldiers as “the red hordes” and of course paint them all as rapists. :rolleyes:

They were the red hordes. I think they still are. They were an army of rapists; they raped over a hundred thousand German women (many of them gang raped). I’ve seen figures as high as 500,000. They raped with stalin’s sanctioning, who told troops to view German women as “legitimate war booty.”

They raped young girls; they raped old women and pregnant women, including women in hospitals in labor. Their rape was not limited to German women: They raped concentration camp survivors.

You seemed to have forgotten to include the family cow and the kitchen sink in your list.

It’s pretty awful that you think mass rape is something to joke about.

Depends how deep you want to go. The Russians were responding to the ransacking of 600 villages by the Nazis, who by the way did more than rape and plunder, but rounded the village into the church and set it ablaze. Even primitive Ghengis Kahn would have been inspired. If the raped German woman got off, then she should consider herself fortunate.

Same goes to current conflicts, go deep enough and we can find causes to effects.

Rape is never justified. NEVER. The Germans committed atrocities – so the Russians were entitled to commit them also? Conquering the Germans was 1 thing. Raping a few hundred thousand noncombatants is something else. That sort of thinking is incompatible with humanity, let alone Christianity. Your position isn’t even “an eye for an eye,” since the German women were not the people who fired the Russian churches. Your position can be distilled to “in war, do whatever you want,” and no religion outside of radical Islam would agree with that.

This thread has been dormant for a considerable period. With rare exceptions, reviving threads after a protracted period of inactivity is discouraged because:

[LIST]
*]the issues that spurred them are often no longer “hot” or current topics, explaining why thread activity ceased originally.
*]posters originally involved in the discussion are sometimes no longer active on the forum and, therefore, unavailable to reply to comments added to the thread.
[/LIST]

Our experience suggests that, when a topic merits revival, it is best accomplished by initiating a new thread that draws on recent events and can be posted to contemporaneously. This eliminates the baggage of folks being frustrated by asking and not receiving responses to issues raised in early posts (because the new poster didn’t notice that the post he was responding to was made a long time ago).

Posters are very welcome to open a new thread on the subject or any other topic, as well as to actively participate in the myriad active threads in the fora.
**
Thank you to all those who have participated in this discussion. This thread is now closed. **

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.