What about violent Saints, warrior Saints & Soldier Saints etc? Q&A’s on Gospel Nonviolence 3

“What about all the Saints who have been involved with violence? Should they be struck from the Calendar of Saints? Were they Saints?”

St James the Moorslayer – Violence a legitimate imitation of Christ? No.

Obviously St Joan of Arc is a top candidate in this issue, but I will also try to address several of the other big names too like; St Louis IX, St Vladimir of Kiev, St. James the Moor Slayer, St Bernard of Clairvaux, St Francis, St Dominic, Constantine and on.

Again this is a very common question. My answer has been essentially – “They were wrong”. Should they be struck from the Calendar? my answer – “if they continue to be a rallying point of error, then yes”. Were they Saints? my answer – “I hope so, but certainly not because they were violent, they would be Saints because of Gods Grace”. But because there are a lot of people who esteem St Joan of Arc (she’s a bit of a banner for Catholic women, especially the more traditionalist, and of course all the French and St Joan has been made practically the patron of Traditionalism) so I needed some help on this.

Father Emmanuel McCarthy wrote an excellent article on St Joan of Arc – A Warning to End the Constantinian Era Not a Loophole to Continue the Constantinian Era.

FrECM: As regards Constantine he is not a saint in the Roman Catholic Church but he is in the Orthodox Churches. The formal declaration of sainthood is considered an infallible declaration. But, it is infallible only to the extent that it declares a person is in heaven. St. Thomas Aquinas justified burning Jews and heretics at the stake, yet he is a saint. As Dorothy Day use to say, “If you follow a saint in what he did that was not Christlike, you go to hell.” All saints with the exception of Mary are sinners. All saints have engaged in culpable and non-culpable evil. The infallible statement of canonization goes only to the person being in heaven, not to anything else. All else is non-infallible. I want, hope and I pray daily that all go to heaven. If “X” person is there regardless of how ignorant, wrong or delusional he or she is, then, “Thank God!” But, we must remember non-culpable ignorance is not sin, just as non-freely chosen activity is not sin. Only God knows how free any person was and what in fact that person knew at the moment he or she acted. And,“The supreme attribute of God is mercy” (John Paul II, in his Encyclical, Dives et Misericordia – Rich in Mercy). So, judgement about whether one has sinned or not, whether one goes to heaven or not is God’s, but that does not change the teachings of Jesus, the Original Tradition of the Church or the Gospels in regard to how the follower of Jesus is called to live. What is worthy of imitation in the life of a saint is discerned by evaluating his or her actions in light of the words and deeds, teachings and promises of the Word (Logos“made flesh,” Jesus—not vice-versa.


RELATED ARTICLES

Is Gospel Nonviolence communism? Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 2
Gospel Nonviolence is pacifist liberalism? – Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 1
Guest Article – St Joan of Arc

Is Gospel Nonviolence communism? Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 2

Isn’t Gospel Nonviolence just communism in disguise? The question goes something like this:

“The non-violence movement was at it’s peak in Capitalist countries when Communism was at it’s height. It is suspicious that the non-violence demonstrations died off almost immediately when Communism collapsed. Isn’t Gospel Non-Violence just a front for Communism?”

CatholicScout’s response: No. I get this one a lot. Jesus was not a communist. Loving as Jesus loved is not a front for communism. Communism is condemned. All Catholics collaborating in communist organizations are excommunicated.

Fr.ECM‘s response: Gospel Nonviolence is not communism, because communism is the redistribution of the wealth by violence, even lethal violence. Communism like capitalism is a philosophy of the distribution of labour, goods and services that intrinsically requires violence. Christianity is using what wealth you have to freely act as Jesus would with that wealth in the face of a humanity writhing in relievable pain.

CatholicScout: There have been accusations that the Pacifist movement was infiltrated by communism. The accusation sounds plausible, but without solid proof, it will have to remain in the realm of conspiracy theories.


RELATED ARTICLES

Gospel Nonviolence is pacifist liberalism? – Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 1

Gospel Nonviolence is pacifist liberalism? – Q&As on Gospel Nonviolence 1

This begins a series of Questions and Answers on Gospel Nonviolence.

Questions in this series are ones that I have personally received, and I supply my answer to them. Father Emmanuel McCarthy (Fr.ECM) of the Centre for Christian Nonviolence, also, from time to time, gives his own response, often giving a deeper explanations (and answers the questions if I cannot!).

If you have a question about Gospel Nonviolence, please feel free to ask it in the Comment box at the bottom. I will endeavour to answer it (or have it answered).

Christ and the Good Thief - Titian

“If you are correct about all this Non-Violence stuff, why is it that it has only really resurged in the last century? Why is the Gospel Non-Violence movement so small? Why is it often associated with extreme liberalism with all it’s errors (modernism, relativism etc)? Why is it not making a bigger impact?”

CatholicScout’s responses to the questions:

  1. Why is it that [Gospel Nonviolence] has only really resurged in the last century? Good question, perhaps because this last century has seen more people killed in war than all the previous centuries put together. Perhaps because the nature of modern communications makes it less easy to control information. Perhaps also because in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, people started to question things more.
  2. Why is it that the Gospel Nonviolence movement is so small?
    Hitherto, the nonviolent love of Jesus of friends and enemies, has not been preached. What you don’t know, you can’t follow. Inform yourself by listening to the following retreat (or you can download Retreat on the Lamb of God here) on the Lamb of God:
    The Lamb: The Mystery of Gods Suffering Servant The Lamb: To Be Adored and Imitated The Mind of the Lamb The Lamb Who Glorifies God The Church: A Fold of Lambs The Love That Is Lamb-Like The Lamb in a Jungle The Means of the Lamb The Lamb Who Is Rich in Mercy The Security of the Lamb The Trustworthy Lamb The Mystery of the Oneness in the Lamb: Baptism The Lambs Lamb: Mary The Lamb of Forgiving Love The Lamb of Serving Love The Resurrected Lamb
  3. Why is it often associated with extreme liberalism with all it’s errors (modernism, relativism etc)?
    Fr.ECM‘s response: Gospel Nonviolence is not liberalism or conservatism, extreme or otherwise. I seldom just use the word “nonviolence.” I always try to make sure people know I am talking about Gospel Nonviolence or Jesus’ Nonviolent Way of Love, etc. The reason is, nonviolence as a word is open to indefinite meaning and interpretation. In Christianity, nonviolence is the adjective and love (agape) is the noun. Nonviolent Christlike love should be a redundancy but it is not because Christians have been kept in the dark by Church leaders that nonviolent love is the only form of Christlike love, as non-adulterous love is the only form of Christlike love, that is love model on the person of Jesus, the new commandment.
    CatholicScout’s response: I think that Gospel Nonviolence, is not associated with extreme liberalism (and all it’s errors). I think that Pacifism is associated with extreme liberalism, and also that bizarre revolutionary version of Pacifism which is very angry and loud about it. That Pacifism and Revolutionarism (as I will call it) is definitely associated with extreme liberalism (and all it’s errors), because it is an error. If anyone actually listens to what is involved with Gospel Nonviolence, they will quickly learn it’s not something “liberal”, or easy to follow and that only those who are truly convinced that this is the Truth follow it. Those people are neither liberal, nor conservative, as Fr.ECM puts it.
    To those that point a finger towards notable proponents of Gospel Nonviolence, who do not have a spotless Theological track record (such as Martin Luther King Jr, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen etc), just remember that people who practice Jesus’ way of nonviolent Love, are not infallible, not indefectable (see my post on indefectibility) and not impeccable. They are human beings like you and I (and the Pope, I may add…). The objective is not to look at their track record, rather the track record of the Person they are attempting to follow. Follow Christ.
  4. Why is it not making a bigger impact? Good question, probably because the Devil has been hard at work, sowing cockle, eating up seeds, and people are not enduring sound doctrine.