“The Christian tradition possesses two ways to address conflict: nonviolence and just war. They both share the common goal: to diminish violence in this world” (U.S. Bishops, A Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace).

“Christian nonviolence…does not consist in surrendering to evil – as claims a false interpretation of “turn the other cheek” (Luke 6:29) – but in responding to evil with good, (Romans 12:17-21), and thus breaking the chain of injustice. It is thus understood that nonviolence, for Christians, is not mere tactical behavior but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is convinced of God’s love and power, who is not afraid to confront evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Loving the enemy is the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution’…” – Pope Benedict XVI, during an address at St. Peter’s Square, February 18, 2007. Read address

Below are listed Church documents and Catholic leaders’ statements about war, peace, and conscience.


Selected Quotations

Church Statements About War
in Iraq and Afghanistan

Canonical Reference Texts
On worldly business and bloodshed


Reference Texts from the Holy Fathers
On Nationalism, Peace, Nonviolence, Killing, and Bloodshed


Advice on Peacemaking from the Saints

The above are borrowed from In Communion, the Web Site of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Catholic Church supports the legal protection for those who conscientiously refuse to participate in any war (conscientious objectors) and for those who cannot, in good conscience, serve in specific conflicts or perform specific actions they consider unjust (selective conscientious objectors.) The Harvest of Justice is Sown in Peace, C.10.



Vatican II Documents



Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace



Statements by Popes