Would the Catholic Church ever support terrorism in extreme situations?


#1

Obviously in most situations the Church would not approve of terrorism, but lets say things got really bad, like a government that was really anti christian or anti catholic. Would terrorism be justified in that sense? Or is the church always against terrorism? Not that i'd ever commit an act like that, but would it be allowed in EXTREME circumstances?


#2

Terrorism? Absolutely not! Assuming we are refering to acts intended to use terror to coerce and are targetted at civilians, or disproportionately disregard their safety.

But perhaps you mean assassination? This is more complex and a case can be made via just war theory that it is acceptable in some cases. But those cases would be extreme. A government that was anti-Catholic would not really be a good example. Hitler at the hight of his powers and declaring war on the rest of Europe and beyond might be a better example.


#3

I think you need to define what is meant by terrorism.

It is true to an extent that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”, depending upon who you ask. So resistance to a brutal tyranny, although that tyranny’s mouthpieces would call it terrorism, might be justifiable.

But killing or harming people simply to make a point is never acceptable.

ICXC NIKA


#4

Are we talking about stuff like bombing buses full of civilians?

Or are we talking about stuff like the French resistance in WW2, militia leaders in the colonial US, John Brown, etc.?


#5

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:317560"]
Obviously in most situations the Church would not approve of terrorism, but lets say things got really bad, like a government that was really anti christian or anti catholic. Would terrorism be justified in that sense? Or is the church always against terrorism? Not that i'd ever commit an act like that, but would it be allowed in EXTREME circumstances?

[/quote]

You mean like the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian?

No.

Martyrdoms are fine though.


#6

No. We can't kill people.


#7

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:317560"]
Obviously in most situations the Church would not approve of terrorism, but lets say things got really bad, like a government that was really anti christian or anti catholic. Would terrorism be justified in that sense? Or is the church always against terrorism? Not that i'd ever commit an act like that, but would it be allowed in EXTREME circumstances?

[/quote]

The Church is staunchly against targeting innocent civilians.


#8

Well okay, then maybe not innocent citizens, but government workers and buildings? And someone mentioned assassinations. Does that means it would be okay to kill anticatholic politicians :eek: (thats a little too crazy, have to be careful on here)


#9

[quote="WildCatholic, post:8, topic:317560"]
Well okay, then maybe not innocent citizens, but government workers and buildings? And someone mentioned assassinations. Does that means it would be okay to kill anticatholic politicians :eek: (thats a little too crazy, have to be careful on here)

[/quote]

No, I'm talking about people like the Parliament that passed the Treasons Act of 1534.


#10

Absolutely not. I mentioned it within the context of just war theory, and specifically used Hitler as an example of when it may (arguably) be considered morally licit.

Politicians who are merely anti-Catholic are not properly considered unjust aggressors, where the use of lethal force may be justified under self defence. Assassination may be considered under just war theory when such a politician is an enemy combatant and unjust aggressor.

The area where it may be a bit grey is in the case of revolution. At what point does a government’s legitimacy end? At what point is revolution acceptable? These are deeper moral issues than I can hope to cover.


#11

[quote="underacloud, post:10, topic:317560"]
Absolutely not. I mentioned it within the context of just war theory, and specifically used Hitler as an example of when it may (arguably) be considered morally licit.

Politicians who are merely anti-Catholic are not properly considered unjust aggressors, where the use of lethal force may be justified under self defence. Assassination may be considered under just war theory when such a politician is an enemy combatant and unjust aggressor.

The area where it may be a bit grey is in the case of revolution. At what point does a government's legitimacy end? At what point is revolution acceptable? These are deeper moral issues than I can hope to cover.

[/quote]

Professional philosophers will still be hashing this out in Purgatory; but here goes:

The purpose of government is to protect the common good. SO when it no longer does that, but is oppressing or killing large numbers of people, it could be justifiably pushed aside.

The question as with a just war, then becomes who is competent to wage it, and whether there is reasonable chance of success.

ICXC NIKA


#12

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