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Pope reflects on role of Christians in military

October 24, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on October 22 with the participants in a conference for military chaplains, and encouraged them "to foster appropriate and well organized pastoral care" for military forces and their families.

The Pope recalled the apostolic constitution Spirituali Militum Curae, by Blessed John Paul II, which was devoted to pastoral care for the military. He remarked: "The military life of a Christian must, in fact, be seen in the light of the first and greatest of the Commandments, that of love for God and for neighbor, because Christians in the military are called to create a fusion whereby they can be soldiers for love, achieving the ministerium pacis inter arma"

The Pope offered special commendation to the work of soldiers who engage in rescue expeditions after natural disasters, or mine-clearing exercises, or peacekeeping missions. Participants included both chaplains and leaders of military ordinariates.

The military chaplains were in Rome for a conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, focused on human rights.


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  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Oct. 25, 2011 11:25 PM ET USA

    Christian chaplains in the US military will soon be faced with the choice of refusing to marry homosexuals or running up against the orders of their commander in chief, who has effected policies that homosexualize the U.S. military. Where is the Vatican support for Archbishop Broglio of the Military Ordinariate as he attempts to implement DOD guidance for chaplains to "follow their consciences"? Will the Justice and Peace Pontificate say "yes" when the chaplains say "no"?