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From this it is clear that the Church must not only recognize the right of Christians but even their duty under certain definite circumstances to refuse obedience to the civil magistrate.The only time a service member can refuse obedience is he who, recognizing his duty to obey his government and to defend his country in response to its call to arms, has intelligent and adequate grounds to be convinced that the given war to which he is summoned is an unjust war.The Synod warned against the evils of present-day pacifism as the conviction and attitude of those who condemn every war and hence refuse to bear arms under any conditions.In defining duty for the Christian, the Act states: The solemn duty which the Christian has to exert himself to the utmost in behalf of peace and the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes, should at no time be used to cancel his equally solemn duty to defend his country against the attack of the aggressor, to protect the weak in the international family from the wanton assault of the strong, and in general to promote justice and fair dealings between the nations of the world.Major Buxton, in particular, established the appropriate ethical climate when he showed that he, too, had wrestled with the very questions that troubled Private York.The climate the leaders created demonstrated that every persons beliefs were important and would be considered.
Much of the regulations and procedures concerning the application for conscientious objection came during the time of conscription by draft, as in the case of PVT York.Under current Department of Defense policy, those who would object to a particular war are not recognized. Suarez even pushes the issue back one step: when arguments have been advanced that raise some doubt in the consciences of the subjects, they must inquire into their princes cause. Suarez and offer a clear justification for individual conscientious objection to particular wars.The Catholic Church has long advocated the recognition of selective conscientious objection.: When the princes cause is manifestly unjust, subjects may not serve in his war. If they discover that the cause is unjust, they may not serve. It is emphatically the subjects responsibility to dispel any doubtand if doing so results in certainty on his part that the war is unjust, he must in conscience refuse., sent the following correspondence to the President and the Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary this past July and asked that the DOD provide a process and establish procedures wherein those who object to selective conflicts on the basis of just-war criteria are honorably discharged.Though this correspondence comes during the time of a controversial war, the CRC has been firmly in line with the Just War theory tradition and supports the duty of government to protect its citizens and calls upon its church members to obey the government and serve in its armed forces.The Act of Synod articulated first the Christian duty to promote mutual understanding and peace wherever possible between individuals as well as groups and nations for both citizens and governments.
However much nations and individuals may and should stand committed to the prevention and suppression of war whenever and wherever possible, in a sinful world sooner or later situations will arise in which one nation resorts to aggression and attack upon another.