On Modern Warfare

Reprinted from The Common Good, No 30, Spring 2004

Nothing is solved by war; everything is placed in jeopardy by war. The results of this scourge are the suffering and death of innumerable individuals, the disintegration of human relations, and the irrevocable loss of an immense artistic and environmental patrimony. War worsens the suffering of the poor; indeed it creates new poor by destroying means of subsistence, homes and property, and by eating away at the very fabric of social environment. Young people see their hopes for the future shattered and too often, as victims, they become irresponsible agents of conflicts. Women, children, the elderly, the sick and the wounded are forced to flee and become refugees who have no possessions beyond what they carry with them. …..After so many unnecessary massacres, it is in the final analysis of fundamental importance to recognise once and for all that war never helps the human community, that violence destroys and never builds up, that the wounds it causes remain long unhealed and that as a result of conflicts the already grim condition of the poor deteriorate further and new forms of poverty appear.

—John Paul II, 1993 New Year Peace Message

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