November 18. Everyone debated the issues around loss of life. Is one ever justified in killing another person, in defence of justice, or in war, or the unborn? Politically motivated killings during elections times are never justified. Secular law would condemn a killing over a person’s sense of justice, as we may not take the law into our own hands.  Wars have been fought throughout history over land where killing the enemy is also an objective. In Old Testament times God was perceived to be on the side of his chosen people, and kings such as Saul and David were commended for the large numbers their armies killed. However gradually but increasingly war is seen as intrinsically evil and capital punishment is being abolished almost universally. All forms of loss of life are to be prevented at all costs,

When Mattathias a leader in the community was standing before the king’s men who were forcing the people of Israel to offer sacrifice against their beliefs he stood up and said, “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers.” As he was speaking a Jew did come forward to make the offering and in his anger Mattathias killed him, as well as the king’s officer, and tore up the altar.  Chaos broke out and Mattathias, his family and any who would follow him and remain true fled into the mountains to start an uprising against the foreign king. 1 Mac2:15-29. Pope Francis:  Our world is being torn apart by wars and violence and wounded by widespread individualism which divides human beings, setting them against one another as they pursue their own wellbeing. In various countries, conflicts and old divisions from the past are re-emerging. Those wounded by historical divisions find it difficult to accept our invitation to forgiveness and reconciliation since they think we are ignoring their pain or asking them to give up their memory and ideals.   EG100.  We can no longer think of war as a solution, because its risks will probably always be greater than its supposed benefits.  In view of this, it is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a “just war.” No, never again war! FT258