If one reads the Fatima accounts (Tan Publishers)… and looks at history… clearly He (God) has not changed…
I’m sorry if I do not understand the connection, I may not be understanding the example. From what I have read the Fatima accounts apply to a vision of Mary who hands down prophesy to three children. Although violence is described in the prophesy I don’t think that this falls under the category of Devine Violence. A better example might be if I were to tell someone that there was someone who wished you harm. This account you speak of (again if I found the right one ) seems to speak more of mercy than violence.
And on the part about God not changing I agree with you. God is as he ever was. What I see though is that how God deals with us has changed. Just as a parent treats his children differently at 5 and 25, God has changed the way he treats us because we now have the Holy Spirit. That being said I don’t want to make it sound like God doesn’t have teeth, quite the contrary. God power is however just as strong in the still small voice as it is in the force of a storm.
Given the Church’s stance on just wars, the military, self-defense, etc., I guess we would have to conclude that violence in and of itself is not a sin.
This is a bit disturbing to me. There is a lot of discussion about just war but let’s look at what makes war “Just”;
-A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
-A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
-A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient–see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
-A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
-The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
-The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
-The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.
I believe this is pretty much in accordance with Catholic doctrine. As a pacifist though I see some pragmatic issues that really can’t be resolved. If you look at all the rules I can’t think of one example that met the criteria. Sure it sounds reasonable that War might be just if you have a situation where an injustice has taken place and the only way to right the wrong is by force. The problem is though that more often than not you create more injustice through the use of force than you would through peaceful means.
Let’s depart for a moment form the macro and focus on the micro…