of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2013
Brethren and members of the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham,
greetings and Apostolic blessings on this Feast of the Nativity of
the Blessed Virgin Mary in the year of our Lord 2013. It is customary
on this feast day to bless seeds and seedlings. These symbols of new
life help us to remember to respect life as Mary did, bringing the
Prince of Peace into the world. Now, though, the seeds of war are
being sown after more than a decade of continuous global conflict. We
speak, of course, of the pending military action in Syria planned by
the United States of America. It is true that there exist just wars,
the doctrine of which was first laid down by Saint Augustine. Yet,
there is grave doubt as to the justice of this planned war. More
troubling is that the American government seems determined to press
for military action now without considering even the basic points of
Just War Doctrine. A government, if it is to be legitimate, must
exercise extreme diligence in such grave matters. As the government
possesses information that the people do not, the government bears
the majority of the responsibility. The burden of proof lies with the
State to demonstrate that it is a just war rather than with those who
oppose war to demonstrate that it is not a just war.
While there is much violence and strife in Syria at present, there
appears to be no sufficient case made for American involvement in yet
another regional conflict. Other nations around the world that have
typically allied with America in military action have thus far
refused to participate in the proposed Syrian campaign. Furthermore,
have other means truly been exhausted? Where is the evidence that
diplomacy has not worked? The mere fact that diplomatic efforts do
not bear fruit according to one's own timeframe does not itself
justify warfare nor make warfare inevitable. War may only be just if
it is truly a last resort. That is not the only condition for a just
war, but it is an essential one and perhaps the most essential one.
Christian population of Syria is approximately 10%, making is a small
minority compared to the Muslims. Make no mistake that they are in
danger. Prelates of the Church in Syria have already been victims of
anti-Christian hate. If there is military involvement in Syria by the
Western governments or the United States alone, there is good reason
to believe that Christians in Syria will be in even more grave danger
than they are now.
call upon the American government to exercise extreme caution and
diligently discern whether or not their planned military ac-tion in
Syria is truly necessary. They must seek to find and exercise every
possible alternative to war before initiating a war. A war in which
all alternatives have not, within the bounds of human weakness, been
exhausted is mal in se, and the faithful are right in opposing it.
Remember always that one's duty is first to Christ and His Holy
Church. This is and always is above all duty to country.
Whatever the decision of the American government, we as Christians
must bear witness to the truth of Christ and openly pray and work for
peace. We must also pray especially for the safety of any military
personnel sent into Syria, and that any who may die will not die in
vain. Our increasingly secularized society has long since abandoned
respect for life, and a society that does not respect life will not
respect peace. The sword is taken not for justice but for vanity, for
life has become cheap. Where is the respect for our fellow man? Where
is our respect for life, regardless of national border? Let a renewal
of the faith begin inside each of us. Let the spark of this faith
grow into a flame that cannot be hid from others. Let the Pas-sion of
Christ on the Cross be shown to the world in part through our own
passionate life in Christ!
commend and thank each of you for your tireless and diligent service
to Christ's Holy Church in this year. The liturgical year drawing to
a close was dedicated to Faith and Tradition. We now announce that
the upcoming liturgical year will be the Year of Chivalry and
Service. May the traditions of chivalry remind us that the sword may
only be taken only as a last resort in defense of life and justice
and with the ultimate goal of peace.
may the blessing of Almighty God, Father, + Son, + and Holy + Ghost,
come upon you and remain with you always. R. Amen.
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