I am in high school. We have recruiters for each branch of the armed forces visiting our school a lot. I have been thinking about joining the service. What is the view of the Catholic church is about serving in the military? Also, what is the church's vie

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Church teaching on military service
 
Q I am in high school. We have recruiters for each branch of the armed forces visiting our school a lot. I have been thinking about joining the service. What is the view of the Catholic church is about serving in the military? Also, what is the church's view of war? Thanks.
- Kaylee
 
A

The Church has always had high regard for those who choose to serve their country.  There is nothing inherently wrong in joining the military.  But as in any occupation, one cannot leave one's conscience behind.  No matter what course you choose in life, you must be prepared for situations where what is asked in the line of duty may conflict with the dictates of your Catholic conscience.  For that reason it is important always to ask God for the strength to stand up for what is right no matter what the costs may be.

Due to our fallen nature, the Church has always accepted that sometimes war is inevitable.  However, from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas on, it has applied strict criteria to determine what constitutes a just war.   To learn more about how the Church judges whether or not a particular war is just, visit http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/justwar.htm.

-Fr Bob

- Fr Bob