The Purpose of the Friends of Franz Jagerstatter - Breaking the Silence
Blessed Franz Jagerstatter
"Let us love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for Those who persecute us. For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God's love."...Franz Jagerstatter
"Our Mission: Inspired by the witness of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter; angered by the invasion and occupation of Iraq by our government and the subsequent acts of terror and civilian atrocities committed in the past five years; mourning American casualties, both loss of life as well as physical and mental disabilities; we admit our own complicity by our failure to raise our voices (For a complete statement of the purpose of the Franz Jagerstatter People for Breaking the Silence, click on Purpose at the top of this page.)
Pope Francis: "Faith and Violence are Incompatible"
(Vatican Radio, August 18, 2013) Pope Francis on Sunday reiterated his call for peace in the ongoing crisis in Egypt saying” “we continue to pray for peace in Egypt together, Mary Queen of Peace pray for us” The Holy Father also remembered those who were killed in a ferry disaster in the Philippines this week and prayed for the families in their grief.
The Pope was speaking following the recitation of the Angelus prayer from the Papal Apartments above St Peter’s Square.
During his Angelus address Pope Francis took his cue from Sunday’s Gospel liturgy.
He explained that the phrase contained in the Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us run with perseverance the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus”, is an expression that we must emphasize especially in this Year of Faith.
The Pope said that Jesus is the key to a loving relationship with God. He is the only mediator of this relationship between us and our Father in heaven.
The Holy Father then turned his attention to another phrase in Sunday’s liturgy, which he said needed to be explained so as not to lead to confusion or misunderstanding.
Pope Francis was referring to the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division "(Luke 12:51).
“But what does this mean?” the Pope asked.
He explained that “it means that faith is not something decorative, or ornamental, it is not there to decorate your life with a little 'of religion.” No, faith, said Pope Francis, involves choosing God as the centre of one’s life, adding that God is not empty, he is not neutral, God is love.
Jesus, continued Pope Francis does not want to divide people from each other, on the contrary, Jesus is our peace.
But he lays down the criterion: live for oneself, or live for God.
So, said the Pope, “the word of the Gospel does not authorize the use of force to spread the faith. It is 'just the opposite: the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible".
At the end of his address, the Holy Father again stressed that faith is not something decorative but a force of the soul, before wishing those in St Peter’s Square a lovely Sunday and a good lunch. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/08/18/pope_angelus:_faith_and_violence_are_incompatible/en1-720613
of the Vatican Radio website
Pope Francis: "War is the suicide of Humanity..."
Note: the following is a message from the Catholic Peace Fellowship:
"Within a period of a few hours on Sunday Pope Francis spoke twice - and quite directly - about war.
At Mass yesterday, Pope Francis declared that: "War is the suicide of humanity because it kills the heart and kills love.” He pointed out that "...war comes from hatred, from envy, from desire for power and ... from that hunger for more power." He observed that "so many times we’ve seen ... the great ones of the earth want to solve” local problems, economic problems, economic crises “with a war.” “Why? Because, for them, money is more important than people! And war is just that: it is an act of faith in money, in idols, in idols of hatred, in the idol that leads to killing one’s brother, which leads to killing love. It reminds me of the words of God our Father to Cain, who, out of envy, had killed his brother: ‘Cain, where is your brother?’ Today we can hear this voice: it is God our Father who weeps, crying for this madness of ours, who asks all of us, ‘Where is your brother?’ Who says to the powerful of the earth, ‘Where is your brother? What have you done!’” Pope Francis prayed to the Lord: “Take all evil far away from us...even with tears, with the tears of the heart: Turn to us, o Lord, and have mercy on us, because we are sad, we are distressed. See our misery, and our pain and forgive all sins,’ because behind a war there are always sins: there is the sin of idolatry, the sin of exploiting men on the altar of power, sacrificing them. ‘Turn to us, o Lord, and have mercy, because we are sad and distressed. See our misery and our pain.’ We are confident that the Lord will hear us and will do anything to give us the spirit of consolation. So be it.”
Just hours later - after the recitation of the Angelus - Pope Francis asked those present to pray in silence for those killed in war, all wounded in war, all their families and for all innocent victims of all conflicts, especially for the people currently suffering in Syria. He pointed out the deplorable and tragic consequences of war which brings with it death, destruction, huge economic and environmental damage, as well as the scourge of kidnapping. Francis proclaimed: “Wars are always madness: all is lost in war, all is to be gained in peace.”
Pope Benedict: "God's Kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence..."
Pope Benedict XVI
"Jesus clearly had no political ambitions. After the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthralled by the miracle, wanted to take him away and make him their king, in order to overthrow the power of Rome and thus establish a new political kingdom which would be considered the long-awaited kingdom of God. But Jesus knows that God’s kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence... " For the text of the complete homily on Nov. 25, 2012, the Feast of Christi the King, click on Pope Benedict on Christ the King.
Friends of Franz & Ben are preparing a website just for Ben. It's timed for NCR's story about Ben in Late July, 2016. Check: "National Catholic Reporter"
Franziska Jägerstätter, wife of martyr Franz, passes away at 100. For a full obituary, please see:http://paxchristiusa.org/?s=Franziska+Jagerstatter
"Sentenced to Death for Refusing to Kill"
Benjamin Salmon, WWI American Catholic Conscientious Objector sentenced to death (later commuted to 25 years).
For more on Ben Salmon, and a link to the play, "Sentenced to Death for Refusing to Kill", click on "Ben Salmon" under "More" at the top of this page.
More Papal Statements on Peace and Nonviolence
To obtain the good of peace there must be a clear and conscious acknowledgment that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems. Violence is a lie. It goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity, the truth about Jesus. Violence destroys what it claims to defend; the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings. What is needed is a great effort to form consciences and to educate the younger generation to goodness, to nonviolence, to love. -Pope John Paul II- Message for World Day of Peace 2005
For more Papal statements on Peace and Nonviolence, click on Resources at the top of this page.