What does the Church teach about mercenary work?

Does the Church teach against mercenary work?

Another part, what about private security guards?

I’d think there is a significant difference between part of a mercenary army - which implies killing for hire - vs a security guard for private property, who usually aren’t even authorized to use lethal force, and who often aren’t armed with anything except a radio.

The Church doesn’t have a **teaching **on professional soldiers or security guards. Why do you think it would?

If someone is “kill for hire” then clearly it would be contrary to the teachings of the Church. But I think the next question we should ask is, do all private military contractors just simply “kill for hire”?

Someone who who simply “kills for hire” is an assassin, not a mercenary. A private military contractor’s use and actions would just fall under the same moral standard as any army.

Mercenary armies can be used for good. Executive Outcomes, for example, actually forced a peace agreement with RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, and another between the Angolan government and UNITA in the 90’s. In both cases, war returned when EO was forced to leave because the international community didn’t like “mercenaries”.

A *mercenary *is merely a paid soldier in a foreign army. That does not mean they are a “killer for hire”. Fighting in a just war is perfectly fine, whether you are paid or not, a national or a foreigner.

A person who kills innocent people, for hire or for free, is a murderer.

It’s not really a question. The answer is clearly no.

If you are asking about people who are contracted killers, then say so. A mercenary is not necessarily a paid killer. They are a professional soldier.

Being a solider is not inherently wrong.

I see. I would also direct you to this link and see what you think about what they say in this thread—> forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=848346

I checked the link and see nothing unusual there. I read all the posts.

The A Team were real humanitarians!

In the link they gave a negative for this question; but the opposite is found on this page.

That would include the Vatican’s Swiss Guard.

We seems to be at cross purposes. Exactly what is said in that link that contradicts what has been said in this thread. Please give the post there and the post(s) here.

Yes that would include the Swiss Guard which was originally a mercenary force.

It’s an interesting question in the Reformation context, because at that time war was conducted largely with mercenary armies, and a lot of social reformers, such as Erasmus, denounced them. However, I don’t think there was any official teaching against it–in fact, one reason why the poorer “Forest Cantons” of Switzerland didn’t become Protestant was that Zwingli, the main Swiss Protestant leader, insisted that it was wrong for the Swiss to hire themselves out as mercenaries (and, of course, the Papacy was one of the main clients of the Swiss mercenaries–and continues to employ them to this day, though in a very different social context).

I think Zwingli was right about this one. But I don’t know if the Church has ever spoken on it officially–I would think probably so, but I’m not sure.

The problem with mercenaries is that by definition it’s hard for them to be too concerned with the justice of the cause for which they fight. Clearly it’s not intrinsically wrong to fight as a paid soldier in a foreign army, but on the whole it seems pretty clear to me that mercenary warfare increases the already innumerable ways in which war can be evil.

I certainly don’t, at least not since Tuesday. But I would call private military contractors, of which there are hundreds of thousands in the US alone, mercenaries either.

This one:

Which is hardly an endorsement of mercenary armies, which are condemned by Our Lord and against Church teaching.
But if someone is happy to slaughter villages of innocent civilians in Africa, get paid and then spend an eternity in Hell for it…

The trigger, so to speak, would be if one, in their private or professional capacity, was responsible for the lives and safety of others. If so, CCC2263-2265 appear to apply.

Please show us a Church document that condemns mercenary armies. A poster’s personal opinion is not a Church teaching.

All I was saying was that there is a difference of opinion on this site and I want to form my conscience on the truth of this matter. I brought it up because it defers from what was said on this thread, and I wanted to see what the others on here though of it.

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