The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitues intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect; the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor... The one is intended, the other is not." (quoting St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 64, 7, corp. art)
Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one's enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.
I urge the faithful not to forget the events of September 11, 2001, and to pray that we might rediscover the spirit of unity, sacrifice, and prayer which marked the immediate aftermath, while at the same time seeking from God an end to terrorism and violent death throughout the world. May the God of mercy grant fullness of life in His eternal presence to all those who died on September 11th and give all of us who remain the support of His strengthening grace as we journy homeward to Him!
Our nation is at war- a reality not lost upon the men and women of Northern Virginia, home to military bases, civlian support, defense industry and the Pentagon. One the ocassion of this remembrance of the tragedy, I wish to thank the members of our Armed Services currently serving our country throughout the world. Your committment to protecting this great nation in so many ways mirrors the selfless sacrifice of our Savior, who died for us. As your brothers and sisters, we cannot fail to recognize your generosity.
(In 2001).... we witnessed the terrorist attacks against the sanctity of human life and the common good, and we must defend these goods in a manner which is consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Appeasement has never shown itself to be the friend of peace; therefore, we must act in a just manner to confront the evil of terrorism so that the world my be a safe and peaceful place for generations to come.
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Thirteen months I was in the field (in Vietnam) as a lieutenant, and three I could have been killed. I told the good Lord, "I guess there's something you want me to do.''
--Gen Peter Pace
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