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Catholic Dictionary




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.