‘If the Christian Religion forbade war altogether, those who sought salutary advice in the Gospel would rather have been counselled to cast aside their arms, and to give up soldiering altogether. On the contrary, they were told: ‘Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.’ [Lk. 3:14] If he commanded them to be content with their pay, he did not forbid soldiering.’
To Die or Kill for Christ Is Not Criminal but Glorious
At the foundation of the Knights Templar, the great St. Bernard of Clairvaux, known also as Melifluous Doctor [“full of honey”], wrote them the letter In Praise of the New Knighthood, which the Templars considered as their position paper.
In it he set forth important moral rules regarding Catholic warfare. Such principles are especially timely to recall today when we see countless Catholics – included traditionalists – steeped in a revolutionary pacifism, which is presented to them as an imperative of charity. Here is a selected text from Chapter III of the letter by the great medieval Saint.
The knights of Christ can fight the battles of their Lord with complete tranquility of conscience, fearing neither sin if they kill the enemy, nor the danger of being killed themselves. For to inflict death or to suffer death for Christ has nothing criminal about it, but rather brings an abundant claim to glory. By the first he gives glory to Christ, by the latter, he gains Christ Himself. The Lord, without a doubt, gladly accepts the death of the enemy as punishment; and yet more gladly gives Himself to the fallen knight as consolation.
The knight of Christ may strike with confidence and die yet more confidently, for he serves Christ when he kills, and serves himself when he dies. Nor does he bear the sword in vain, for he is God’s minister to punish the evildoers and to exalt the good. When he kills an evildoer, he is not a murderer, but, if I may so put it, a killer of evil. It is necessary to see him as both the avenger at the service of Christ and the protector of the Christian people. Should he be killed himself, however, we know that he has not perished but has achieved eternal glory.
Therefore, the death he inflicts is to Christ’s profit, and the death he receives is for his own gain. The Christian rejoices in the death of the pagan because Christ is glorified; while the death of the Christian gives the King occasion to show his liberality by rewarding the deserving knight. In the first case, the just man shall rejoice when he sees the punishment of the evil man. And in the latter, he will say, “Truly there is a reward for the just. Truly it is God who judges the earth.”
Certainly pagans should not be killed if there is any other way to prevent them from oppressing and persecuting the faithful. But it is much better to kill them than to have the just ones forever under the yoke of the wicked, and bending their knees to the iniquity of the pagans.
St. Bernard, De Laude Novae Milititae,
Migne, P.L. vol. 182, col. 924
Q. 1276. Under what circumstances may human life be lawfully taken?
A. Human life may be lawfully taken:
In self-defense, when we are unjustly attacked and have no other means of saving our own lives;
In a just war, when the safety or rights of the nation require it;
By the lawful execution of a criminal, fairly tried and found guilty of a crime punishable by death when the preservation of law and order and the good of the community require such execution.
Exerpt from St. Bernard on Catholic Military Order
“In Praise of the New Knighthood (Liber ad milites Templi: De laude novae militae)”
“This is the revenge which Christ contrives against his enemies, to triumph powerfully and gloriously over them by their own means. Indeed, it is both a happy and fitting thing that those who have so long fought against him should at last fight for him. Thus he recruits his soldiers among his foes, just as he once turned Saul the persecutor into Paul the preacher.
Once he finds himself in the thick of battle, this knight sets aside his previous gentleness, as if to say, “Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord; am I not disgusted with your enemies?” These men at once fall violently upon the foe, regarding them as so many sheep. No matter how outnumbered they are, they never regard these as fierce barbarians or as awe-inspiring hordes. Nor do they presume on their own strength, but trust in the Lord of armies to grant them the victory. They are mindful of the words of Maccabees, “It is simple enough for a multitude to be vanquished by a handful. It makes no difference to the God of heaven whether he grants deliverance by the hands of few or many; for victory in war is not dependent on a big army, and bravery is the gift of heaven.
Hail then, holy city, sanctified by the Most High for his own tabernacle in order that such a generation might be saved in and through you! Hail, city of the great King, source of so many joyous and unheard-of marvels! Hail mistress of nations and queen of provinces, heritage of patriarchs, mother of apostles and prophets, source of the faith and glory of the Christian people! If God has permitted you to be so often besieged, it has only been to furnish brave men an occasion for valor and immortality”!
Crusade is necessary. The Catholic Faith has the right to exist and rule any nation (Social Kingship of Christ)
In the case of a state’s wholesale persecution (NWO) of the innocent (Catholics) with death or unjust enslavement, a power (Eagles of New Crusade) taking up their cause (Restoration of Christendom) may fairly be said to assume the call of these and to make use of their right of resistance.
In conclusion, a war, to be just, must be waged by a sovereign power for the security of a perfect right of its own (or of another justly invoking its protection) against foreign violation in a case where there is no other means available to secure or repair the right; and must be conducted with a moderation which, in the continuance and settlement of the struggle, commits no act intrinsically immoral, nor exceeds in damage done, or in payment and in penalty exacted, the measure of necessity and of proportion to the value of the right involved, the cost of the war, and the guarantee of future security.