Most people who go to war feel justified – at least from their own perspectives (although the folks on the other side may have a different viewpoint).
Is war ever the answer? What’s the Catholic approach to thinking about it? When is it justified? In “Catholic Central: Just War,” Kai and Libby break down the things a conflict needs in order to be considered just, and some of the things that all of us need to take into account.
Think about when you might have seen war portrayed in films, TV, video games or news clips. Do any in particular stick out to you? What do these portrayals of war get right about the actual reality of war? Where do these portrayals fall short?
Martin Luther King Jr. echoed the wisdom of Church tradition when he said “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.” What do you think this means?
Justice is one of the cardinal virtues, meaning that the other virtues hinge upon it. Why do you think justice is so central to living a moral life? What would life look like without justice as a foundation of our society? What can you do to promote justice in your relationships and daily life?
Think about a conflict you’ve either seen between others or experienced yourself. How could the conflict have been avoided? What was the resolution? Would you say that in the end the parties involved achieved true peace and “right relationship”? What could have been done differently, on either side? Make a list of things you can do when conflict arises in the future in order to have real justice in the end.
Reflection by Father Vince Kuna, C.S.C.
Read Matthew 8:5-13, about Jesus healing of the centurion’s servant. Notice that the centurion’s profession of soldiering, while seemingly contrary to Jesus example of non-violence from the Cross, nevertheless, does not preclude the centurion from a life of faith. How might we see Jesus’ primary purpose as increasing faith in Him and that morality is something distilled later after being initiated into the Faith?
About Kate O'Hare
Based in Los Angeles, Kate O'Hare is a veteran entertainment journalist, social-media manager for Catholic production company Family Theater Productions, and a screenwriter.