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CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR

A person who, on moral or religious grounds, refuses to perform military service. On Catholic principles, war is not necessarily and intrinsically evil. Yet a Catholic may be a conscientious objector, as when a given war is undoubtedly unjust, or when a person believes that for him, under the circumstances, participation would be morally wrong. In general, a conscientious objector must follow his sincere convictions in this matter. Hence if he cannot persuade himself of the licitness of a war to which he is being either drafted or for which he may volunteer, he must abstain from active participation in it.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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