FAST FOOD: THIRTY-FOURTH HELPING (2016)
If the disciple of Christ is treated violently and gives his life for his conviction, this is not a defeat but rather a glorious victory, an eloquent witness to the power of Christianity, which is called to renew the face of the earth through love. Whoever acts in accord with this is a true hero. Johannes Ude
There always have been and always will be conscientious objectors, honorable human beings, witnesses with the Christian courage of martyrs, who emphatically preach the great commandment of love and nonviolence to a world fallen away from Christ. They alone are the true heroes because they have an unreserved trust in the ultimate triumph of these commandments which Christ made obligatory. Johannes Ude
Here we would like to point to an ancient custom in the Vatican that we believe should be discontinued, namely the Papal Guard which includes the Guard of Nobles, the Swiss Guard, the Palace Honor Guard, and the Papal Gendarmerie. During festive occasions these guards put on a military show. For example, when a pope declares a new saint, they march to St. Peter’s Basilica under military command and in colorful uniforms, with helmets and revolvers, spears and lances, rattling sabers and modern rifles. They are usually greeted by frenetic applause by the multitude of Italians and pilgrims from all over the world. It is impossible to imagine our Divine Lord in such a military procession.
The pope, who represents Christ on earth, should abolish all military pageantry which bring to mind killing and destruction, using Christ’s words, “Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt 26:52) For no murder weapons are needed to make known the great message of love, including love of one’s enemy. On the contrary, wherever murder weapons are carried and armies raised and trained, it automatically brings to mind that these weapons are not merely toys but, if necessary, can be used to kill and destroy. As deputy of the Lord of love and trustee of His teaching, the Pope should avoid everything that in the eyes of the world has only the slightest appearance that militarism with its brutal use of violence is sacred and pleasing to God and is necessary because it is approved of, tolerated, and practiced by most Christians. We believe that Christ’s deputy never needs a sword in order to carry out the mission entrusted to him by Christ and to bring about the peace of Christ and His Kingdom. Johannes Ude
Pax vobis—peace be with you—should always be on the lips of the Vicar of Christ. How peculiar to hear these words from a Pope, who is surrounded by military units with the latest killing equipment. On the one hand, nearly everyone who sees this display of weapons will automatically think of the slogan, “If you want peace, be armed.” On hte other hand, if the Pope as Christ’s representative on earth advocates: “If you want peace, prepare peace by the works of peace,” why then have a military cohort and displays of murderous weapons? Johannes Ude