Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Curia Responds to Requests for Spiritual Guidance on World Military Events

By Jean DuBois


In response to various enquiries, the Patriarchal Curia of the Imperial Roman Church issued a statement earlier today on behalf of the Papa-Catholicos. The statement pertained to three key areas in military action around the world. The first regards trials for alleged war crimes. The second centered on legitimacy of large-scale contributions of war materiel and military-related financial contributions. The third pertained to large-scale military treaty alliance organizations and their potential threat to global security. As always, the Curia provided a concise statement consistent with the traditional doctrine of the Christian faith.  The Curia also urged national leaders to follow the precepts of Christian heritage and doctrine.

Response 1

War can bring out both the best and worst traits in humanity. Many fall as victims of man's inhumanity to man. Yet, while some acts do indeed exceed legitimacy under the Just Warfare Doctrine of the Christian faith, the mere existence of an unfortunate or terrible occurrence does not automatically render it a war crime. Soldiers who are carrying out orders for a stated legitimate military purpose cannot be legitimately held criminally or civilly responsible, tried, or punished for alleged war crimes. The exceptions to that are extremely rare and centre on the legitimate, reasonable possibility of such a soldier to be able to know that an act is inherently illegal and be able to prevent it in the inherently chaotic circumstances of warfare. Such greatly exceeds the authority of soldiers in general and would result in a break-down of discipline and hierarchy essential to military operations. Similarly, the question of intent, both on the part of commanders and soldiers, is absolutely essential in determining legitimacy of criminal and civil responsibility for alleged war crimes.  To hold anyone criminally or civilly responsible, to try them, or to inflict punishment of any kind in violation of these precepts for an alleged war crime is itself a grave moral offense and an affront against human dignity, rendering the perpetrators of such trials themselves potentially criminally and civilly responsible.

Response 2 

Nations that engage in large-scale transfer of weapons and other war materiel, as well as significant military funding and other support, no matter the stated purpose, become moral participants in a particular war. Thus they have moral responsibility for the results of their contributions. Such transfers often prolonged killing, suffering, and destruction. Therefore blood stains the hands of nations engaged in such transfers. Furthermore, such transfers, given their scale, if at the detriment of the population of the countries making the transfers, violate a higher objective of a nation to serve and care for the people within their borders who have therefore been placed within their care. 

     The Curia, consistent with the doctrine of the Christian faith, calls upon all nations to be prudent in their support of military actions of other nations that they may choose to do through contributions of weapons, war materiel, and money. Such support should be minimal, if it is even done at all, for their actions tend merely to prolong combat, expand killing, and increase destruction and human suffering.

Response 3

The lessons of the Great War demonstrate the problems of large-scale military assistance treaty organisations. In the Great War, the situation was one of overlapping smaller military alliances that led in short order to a simple regional conflict exploding into the entirety of Europe, even drawing in troops from other parts of the world. Similarly, large-scale military assistance treaty organisations, particularly when they treat an attack on one as an attack on all in all circumstances, have the tremendous potential to allow regional conflict to explode quickly into large-scale warfare. Nations have a responsibility to de-escalate conflicts to which they are a party as much as possible, and to act in ways that are neutral or to de-escalate conflicts not directly involving them and not instead to add fuel to the fire. 

    Also, such treaty organisations have demonstrated their continued willingness to engage in warfare with other nations outside their organisation. The existence of a large-scale treaty organisation may make it very difficult for a nation involved in a conflict with even a single country within that treaty organisation to engage in defensive or retaliatory combat for fear of drawing the entire body of nations within the treaty organisation into the conflict. Therefore, such organisations have the potential to enable one or more of their members to become international military oppressors with relative impunity. 

   Nations have a right to establish their own such organisations in response to other treaty organisations as a matter of legitimate security and self-defense. However, such alliances overall should be avoided and preferably disbanded.