What People are Asking
Can Catholics use weapons|
I want to thank you so much for your website. I go there pretty much exclusively to get on-going news about the Church. I am a convert to the Church, and now I am a traditionalist for the last 2 years. God has been amazingly good to me!
I would like to ask a question about free will, and the Catholic faith to resist evil. If our country should be taken over by Communism as Our Lady predicts in the Fatima message, how much can we resist? Can we use force (i.e. guns)? How do we understand God's will with regard to this evil and our action to save our souls, and the souls of others when to be passive with Communism might mean entering their "re-education" camps and given drugs to loose our faith? If that should happen (God forbid!) how much are we responsible, and will we go to Hell if we renounce God our Our Lord in a drugged state?
Thank you very much for any information you can give me.
Very truly yours, in the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
The Editor responds:
Dear Mrs. N.G.,
Thank you for your kind words regarding our website. I am glad that you converted to the Catholic Church. As Catholics, we at TIA most happily welcome you to the true Faith.
Regarding your question on whether one can defend oneself with the use of force, meaning weapons, the answer is simple.
Confirming Natural Law, Catholic doctrine teaches us that we can react with force to an invasion of our property and an intruder’s attempt to break into our houses. The expression use of force means a proportionate violence that includes the use of guns. That is to say, if someone trespasses on our property or breaks into our house, we can shoot him, even mortally. This defense is part of the natural right of self-defense approved by Catholic doctrine.
To kill someone is an evil, a sin, and a crime. But it is not so if you kill someone who is in trying to kill you and your family, or to damage the source that provides you sustenance, your property. When we study the Fifth Commandment: Thou shall not kill, some Catechisms mention the above-mentioned exception.
Now then, Communism is a regime that is founded on a theory that preaches the abolishment of all properties. It persuades those who do not have property to take the property of others by force. Therefore, like the robber who forces entry into one’s home or farm, it should be resisted with force when necessary. The same principles that allow us to use weapons to defend and save our property apply. Catholic doctrine approves the use of force to prevent Communism from taking over a region or a country.
This approval is not just theoretical. In the Spanish Civil War of 1936 Communism tried to dominate Spain and was confronted by the Catholic monarchist forces – the Carlistas – who fought a heroic war. One of the best known songs of the Carlistas had this line – Me voy a matar más rojos que flores tienen Mayo e Abril [I will kill more 'reds' than flowers that bloom in May and April]. The Church approved the Catholic fight in Spain, blessed its ranks, and even allowed many of her monks and priests to fight along with the troops. All of them marched singing the Carlista hymn – Me voy a matar más rojos ...
Here you have the Catholic doctrine with a historical example. As far as I can see, there is no doubt in this matter: It is legitimate for Catholics to use force to prevent Communism from taking over a country or a region.
Analogous considerations may be made regarding the loss of our souls, even more important than the loss of our properties.
I hope this answer will help you in your difficulty.
Posted November 29, 2006
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St. Augustine and St. Thomas on the Death Penalty
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