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Diocese may push for assassin’s canonization

Catholic World News - September 30, 2011

The Archdiocese of Seoul may launch a cause for the beatification of Thomas An Jung-geun, a Korean Catholic who assassinated the Japanese prime minister when Korea was under Japanese rule.

The assassin “acted in righteous defense of the nation,” the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan said of the 1909 killing. “The Catholic Church does not regard killing committed to defend the nation from unjust aggression as a crime.”

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  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Oct. 01, 2011 6:53 AM ET USA

    I'd be interesting in knowing how this one comes out. Seems to me that if you can make a case for killing a Prime Minister whose nation has begun to occupy yours, you can make a case for most political assassinations. I'd say we'd need to sternly re-evaluate America's policy that bars such acts by the military or by allies.

  • Posted by: wvcatholic - Sep. 30, 2011 4:28 PM ET USA

    Under certain circumstances the killing of another is morally acceptable, such as in time of war or in the case of execution. In both of those cases, the morality of the action results in part due to the fact that it is done with the authorization of the state. One can also envision another situation in which case a revolution is taking place and a psuedo-state exists (American Revolution). For an individual to take such action on his own seems very problematic.

  • Posted by: tonydecker513018861 - Sep. 30, 2011 3:54 PM ET USA

    I don't know the specifics of this case, but I think it could be possible that a man could be called a saint after assassinating someone, if it was not only morally acceptable, but morally required. There is a time to take up arms, and in such a time, if one refuses not to, he is acting immorally. Besides, there have been plenty of other saints that killed, think Joan of Arc for example. The Catholic Church not only does not consider it a crime, it considers it to be just and right.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2011 1:24 PM ET USA

    “The Catholic Church does not regard killing committed to defend the nation from unjust aggression as a crime.”Some pretty tricky theology involved here, maybe. Plus, there's a difference between assassinating someone not being a crime and it being a cause for sainthood.

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