Ruminations Amidst the Ruins

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In the midst of wanton violence, death, and wars and the rumors of wars, I’ve been leafing through the broad range of Catholic opinion and teaching on war, beginning with Just War theory of Augustine. Lew has published several essays by Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. A contrasting view is offered in the same Christian spirit by Father Jim Schall, who just retired from a lifetime of teaching (the last half of it at Georgetown).

My father was an admirer of Christopher Dawson, one of the finest Catholic historians of the twentieth century. This is what he had to say in “The Catholic Attitude to War” (1937):

It has been the fault of both pacifism and liberalism in the past that they have ignored the immense burden of inherited evil under which society and civilization labour and have planned an imaginary world for an impossible humanity. We must recognize that we are living in an imperfect world in which human and superhuman forces of evil are at work and so long as those forces affect the political behaviour of mankind there can be no hope of abiding peace.

And finally, speaking to a world full of lies, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn: “The truth shall make you free, but falsehood always brings violence in its wake.”

The Christ Child calls us to peace, but the Father of Lies has other plans.

4:49 pm on December 16, 2012