To avoid the slightest doubt, Christ and the apostles speaking in His name again and again emphasized love of the enemy. How can one reconcile these easily understandable commandments of Christ with the use of violence against an assailant? Who dares to claim that violence, armaments, and war are compatible with Christianity? I can only derive from Christ’s commandments that they are not compatible. To be armed for war means to be always prepared to meet the enemy with violence, to harm and possibly kill him. Is this the love which Christ demands of us? To wage war means to inflict as much harm, misery, and death as possible on the enemy while claiming to bring about peace. Is this the love which Christ demands of us?
How can the citizens of a warring nation say that they are obeying the great commandments to love the enemy and to repay evil with good if they stab him with a bayonet, throw hand grenades at him in order to dismember him, drop tons of bombs on him out of airplanes, and mercilessly fire canons and machine guns into his ranks? And such people want to be called Christian and Catholic? Johannes Ude
My Church teaches me that every person, including the enemy, is my neighbor. Therefore, I am strictly obligated in conscience to conduct myself toward every person with love in my thoughts, words, and actions. The true disciple of Christ has to forego every form of violence; he has to be a conscientious objector, whatever the consequences. Johannes Ude
Renouncing the use of violence against an assailant is the essence of Christianity which makes love a duty for all human beings. However, this is not cowardice. On the contrary, it takes heroic courage to stand up against a world bristling with weapons and to prefer to suffer humiliation and death instead of harming others by violence. 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
In defiance of a world bristling with weapons, we have to be prepared to give our life, if necessary, in order to demonstrate the love, whose source is God, openly before the whole world, because to be a Christian means to be a witness and if need be, a martyr. Thanks be to God! Johannes Ude