breeds behavior contrary to Christianity
Originally published in 2001
Buried like a Fine Pearl within the Message of the late Pope John
Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace (January 1,
we find the much overlooked and frequently ignored key which Our Lord
Jesus Christ gave us for a successful Evangelization. (1)
This priceless gem may be found in Paragraph No. 6. (2)
For ease of reading and effective understanding we have: (a) Added
space between sentences; and (b) Used underscoring to highlight
Said paragraph follows:
You shall not kill in God's name!
Those who kill by acts of terrorism
actually despair of humanity, of life, of the future. In their view,
everything is to be hated and destroyed.
Terrorists hold that the truth in which they believe or the
suffering that they have undergone are so absolute that their reaction
in destroying even innocent lives is justified.
Terrorism is often the outcome of that fanatic fundamentalism which springs from
the conviction that one's own vision of the truth must be forced upon
Instead, even when the truth has been reached —and this can
happen only in a limited and imperfect way— it can never be
Respect for a person's conscience, where the image of God himself
is reflected (cf. Gen. 1:26-27), means that we can only propose the
truth to others, who are then responsible for accepting it.
To try to impose on others by violent means what we consider to be the
truth is an offense against human dignity, and ultimately an offense
against God whose image that person bears.
For this reason, what is usually referred to as fundamentalism, is an attitude
radically opposed to belief in God.
Terrorism exploits not just people, it exploits God
because it makes him an idol to be used for one's own purposes.
The above teaching is not new. Frequent examples of it may be
found in the Old and New Testaments.
It is a tragedy that we, Catholics from the Church of the East
and Church of the West, as well as other Christian denominations, have
wasted nearly two thousand years trying to impose Our Current
Version of the Truth on others by force and coercion – physical and
What is a greater tragedy is that, even today, there are certain
groups —sect like groups— within the Catholic Church who are bent on
imposing their interpretation of the Truth on others; perhaps in a more
dangerous and devastating way – utilizing damaging brainwashing
An even greater message may be found in the title of this fine
exhortation by the late John Paul II:
NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE – NO
JUSTICE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS
We must remember that Peace is the fruit of Justice
and Justice is the fruit of Love and Forgiveness,
a Love and a Forgiveness that only God can give and cannot be wrestled
from Him with empty ascetic practices. (5)
In addition, we must also remember that Forgiveness does
not necessarily entail the avoidance of Temporal Punishment nor grants
a license to continue a behavior which is contrary to the
Teachings of God as the alleged Pope Francis implies in his
(3) Some samples:
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