Should the Church create a military order to defend Catholics?
#1
With all the attacks against Catholics and Christians at large in recent times, should the Catholic Church create a military order to defend the faithful worldwide?  I'm not talking about the Swiss Guard or creating a conventional military force, but rather a military order of "knights," of clergy and laymen, to protect and defend Christians in far-flung places of the world, especially against Islamic terrorism?  We had these orders before, during the Crusades, to help protect pilgrims from Muslim marauders, so why can't we have them now?  And I think now more than ever, they're needed.  The war between Christians and Muslims is intensifying, and more often than not, Christians are the victims.  Indiscriminate or even targeted killings of innocent civilians just because of their Christian faith is on the rise, and aside from prayer, which are needed of course, I don't see anything material that the Church is doing.  Maybe the Church is doing more than I know, but given the intensity and frequency of attacks now, I think something a little more drastic and emphatic is needed.  I don't know if this would be possible under Francis, who is all about love and peace, but the need is very urgent, in my opinion.  The Church has stood up against the onslaught of Islam for over a millennium, so I hope we don't go soft now.

Any thoughts on this?  Thank you in advance.
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#2
I think it is a good question. I don't think anyone in Church hierarchy in the last 100 years would have gone for it, and I don't think anyone would now. If there is to be a military solution, it will never come from "the Church" (understood as hierarchy) "creating".

Different from this is what would happen if a bunch of Catholics with military training decided to start an order, and took past Rules like that which was drawn up for the Templars, and went through the typical processes of approval through the hierarchy. Would they reject it? Could it be rejected, if it had the same Rules approved centuries before, of prayer and penance and so on.

I know that excellent groups exist today somewhat modeled on the Templars, really excellent groups, but not one that I can think of has a military, physical angle to it, and so, in my opinion, all fall painfully short of the Templars.

So I suppose my answer is that we should have such orders, but we don't, and to have them, we will need Catholics with prior military experience, and men, such as military chaplains, willing to assist them. As for whether or not they will get recruits, I have no doubt whatsoever, as long as they can pay for a dignified living. Men would join.
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#3
The Crusades are our best precedent when considering this difficult question.

By the late 11th century, the military advances of Islam had been somewhat tempered by internal division, but they were still ongoing. The Crusades were hardly a colonial or imperialist adventure. It was seen by all in the West as a necessary counter-offensive in a much larger war. After Varna in 1444, Malta in 1565, Lepanto in 1571, and Vienna in 1683, that war pretty much went dormant.

Today, with the resurgence of a strong, militant Islam, many could be tempted to call it the "Second Christiano-Islamic War". It lacks the rapidly-advancing quality of the early caliphate, but it does present a significant threat to peace, faith, and humanity in general. I'm not sure a full-on counter-offensive - replete with Crusades, Military Orders, and the like - is yet necessary. What if, though? What if...?

On the other hand side, hear what the Lord Jesus Christ says:

Matthew 5:9-12 Wrote:Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

I think that Christians are more blessed in suffering than in defending against attacks. That's easy for me to say, however, ensconced as I am in the comfortable, peaceful Western hemisphere. We are, indeed, to defend the innocent. Not sure why we should limit that only to Catholics. I guess I'm for the idea, ideally-speaking, so long as it doesn't become a sort of Crusade.
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#4
I don't think the Church herself should create some sort of military order to defend Catholics and other Christians from attack, but neither should she condemn those Catholics or other Christians that find themselves compelled to take up arms in defense of their lands, homes and families.  I know that if I were in northern Iraq or Syria there is no doubt in my mind I'd be out with one of the militias putting bullets in muslim thugs that tried to attack my village,rape and enslave the local women and in general impose a brutal and evil religion on the populace.

There is no doubt in my mind that violence in the name of Jesus is nowhere recommended in the New Testament, but the reality on the ground sometimes dictates that we have to choose whether to go like sheep to slaughter or fight in self defense. Christians throughout history have taken different approaches to this, and so we should try not to judge too harshly.

The Church should, in her solicitude for men in this fallen and imperfect world, set high standards yet show mercy towards those who, in the case of self preservation, feel the need to fight to the death against merciless and evil men such as ISIS muslims etc. 

I do not believe it's the place of the Church herself to create military orders though, as that plants the Church too firmly in the ground of politics when she should be an icon of the Kingdom that is not of this world. She should be there for her people and show understanding for those of her flock whose only options are exile, certain death or at least a chance at standing ones ground and driving out the enemy.
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#5
Where can I sign up?
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#6
The Church should create a military order, but it should go about it differently. What the Church needs is vast amounts of prayer, fasting, and proper worship of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The purpose is we are in a dangerous war that the sword is useless until we can recruit enough holy warriors for Christ the King. We must turn to the most powerful weapons Christendom has...God!

Prayer, fasting, and proper worship of the Mass is the only way we can perform miracles and slay the giant Philistine with a tiny stone. Let our military order be truly militant with prayer, fasting, and proper worship of the Mass...these are so much more challenging than wielding a sword or shooting a rifle.

We must re-convert the New and Old World.


Toss the New-Evangelization into the trash pile and go back to the old way of doing things.
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#7
(04-04-2015, 10:44 AM)Heorot Wrote: On the other hand side, hear what the Lord Jesus Christ says:

Matthew 5:9-12 Wrote:Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

I think that Christians are more blessed in suffering than in defending against attacks.

Christ's message was directed towards individuals and how they ought to live their individual lives. 
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#8
Cardinal Burke's Holy League is a great idea. I signed up and have asked a nearby parish to offer a Holy Hour, monthly, for men. The priest told me possibly right after Easter. Hopefully that will come to pass.  :Hmm:
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#9
Military orders have brought many blessings to the world: think of the Templars/Order of Christ and their role in the Iberian Reconquista and the evangelization of the world.
Also, there's something else besides just plain war with Islam (or even the defending of missionary priests): we are increasingly needing protection in our Churches, from satanists and feminists to Mohammedans bombers and just the usual nut. Some order with a hierarchy going from warriors down to men trained to keep vandals from the Church is very necessity (and I suspect it will become even more as our society degenerates).

Finally, protecting missionaries, reconquering traditionally Catholic territories (that turned out to be very important to the Church—Portugal being declared a “most faithful” nation, the seat of a patriarchy and the spreader of the faith from America to China. Of course, this is just one example, I'm sure the Poles, Italians or Irish here could cite their own favorite national example) and protecting the Church (from the Blessed Sacrament and the Buildings, to the Church at large) is a way of promoting peace.
The only lasting peace possible for this world is if Catholics take up the burdensome project of civilizing the barbarians, and sometimes this requires some just war.
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#10
(04-04-2015, 11:08 AM)Ave Castitatis Lilium Wrote: Where can I sign up?

If you are really interested, stop communicating about these things here and go to Erbil immediately. One-way tickets are not priced unreasonably; although you cannot fly directly in from most cities, you can get connecting flights at Beirut. It is preferable if you have military training already, and it is especially preferable if you have experience with mortars and artillery.
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