Father McCarthy believes that no priest should serve in the armed forces to provide religious care to military men and women because, "Being a commissioned officer in the military makes it impossible for that priest to maintain his objectivity when preaching the Gospel, which should include the message that killing any human is an act of evil..." (Catholic peace activists see conflict in priests serving in military, July 15 edition of the CFP).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that, "Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace." 2310.
The Lord God has commanded us, "You shall not kill." There are nine words in Hebrew for taking a life. The word used in Exodus 20: 13 for "Thou shalt not kill" is ratsach, a strong verb used to indicate an intentional and unjustified act of murder, such as the murder of innocent unborn. It does not refer to killing in war ( unless such killing is directed against civilian non-combatants or prisoners of war). But it is disgusting for a Catholic priest to suggest that all soldiers who kill in combat are engaged in "evil."
I'm not surprised that such hateful nonsense would be published in the "Catholic" Free Press, a publication with a long history of dissent from Church teaching owned and operated by a broken diocese which ordains homosexual men while excluding masculine men from ministry.
The French preacher Lacordaire once said that the vocation of a soldier is next in dignity to the priesthood, not only because it commissioned him to defend justice on the field of battle and order on the field of peace, but also because it called him to the spirit and intention of sacrifice.
It is the soldier's high calling to the defense of justice and freedom which makes him (or should) so loved. It was a soldier who first spoke the words recalled by the Church during every Mass at Holy Communion: "Lord, I am not worthy to have Thee come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed." (Mt 8:8).
The Breviary, which priests pray daily, praises Judas Machabeus, who refused to surrender to superior enemy forces and died saying: "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to question our honor." (1 Macc 9: 10).
A soldier who does his or her duty honorably contributes to the common good and to authentic peace.
Leave it to the Worcester Diocese to publish the views of a bigoted priest who sees combat soldiers as engaging in evil.