FAST FOOD: THIRTY-FOURTH HELPING (2016)


        Johannes Ude

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

For no one—except for the defense industry, leaders of nations who are obsessed with the struggle for power, and other beneficiaries of war—will claim that the cunningly organized mass slaughter of both world wars (1914–18) and (1939–) was fortunate for the people of warring nations or paved the way for world peace.                                                                                                                                                                                    Johannes Ude
The Church does not object to the state’s para-military education of its youth. In war and preparing for war, the churches and the state work harmoniously hand in hand, and everything seems so clear and self-evident.The Church not only permits the swearing in of military recruits but also provides a festive setting for the ceremony during which they have to take an oath to follow blindly and unconditionally the orders of their superiors to commit mass murder and destroy cultures. The Church blesses the soldiers as they go into battle. Priests in military uniforms—field chaplains—inflame them to attack and admonish them to do their duty, which means to mow down the enemies, to gas them, to destroy them. In churches citizens of each nation pray for victory of their weapons; and when victory has been attained and hundreds of thousands of soldiers’ bodies are covering the battlefields, church bells are rung and Te Deum laudamus  (“Holy God we praise Thy name”) is sung solemnly in thanksgiving. The citizens are grateful and rejoice that the bloody struggle resulting in the death and mutilation of thousands of soldiers has led to victory. The heroes are praised from the pulpits and, in recognition for special feats in killing and destruction, are decorated. Here state and Church are staunchly and harmoniously united as they have been since the time of Emperor Constantine.                                                                                                      Johannes Ude
 
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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