Once again, let us stress that the Magisterium has not changed its teaching on the subject. It has always maintained that the members of the armed forces are responsible for the crimes they commit. They are responsible for the crimes they commit in violation of the principles of the law of nations and of international humanitarian law in the same way as any other citizens. They are also responsible for the acts they commit against the elementary principles of international humanitarian law, and in particular the evil of
Since the early days of the Church, the Magisterium has maintained that the members of the military are under all circumstances responsible for the crimes committed in violation of the principles of the law of nations. This is true even in cases in which the military personnel acted under orders given by their superiors. The Magisterium has repeatedly emphasized that the members of the armed forces must realize that all of their acts are subject to the law. As the Church has explained, the norms of the law of nations are the same as those that govern the members of the armed forces. Thus, for example, a member of the military who breaks the law of nations by commanding and carrying out acts of violence and terror will be guilty of the most serious crimes against the law and against the human community. All of the members of the armed forces are in any case morally responsible for the acts they commit in violation of the principles of the law of nations and for the acts they commit against the elementary principles of international humanitarian law. The fact that they act under orders does not shield them from the crime of pillage, for example, since the pillage of enemy property is prohibited by the rules of war. The mere fact that a person is a member of the armed forces does not absolve him or her from moral culpability for committing acts that are contrary to the law. The Church has always regarded an act committed by a person under orders as morally equivalent to an act committed against orders.
Every member of the armed forces is morally obliged to resist orders that call for perpetrating crimes against the law of nations and the universal principles of this law. Military personnel remain fully responsible for the acts they commit in violation of the rights of individuals and peoples, or of the norms of international humanitarian law. Such acts cannot be justified by claiming obedience to the orders of superiors.
Now, after the cross, Jesus, bearing His full weight, but still alive, was laid in the middle of the golgotha. Two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. But the one who was on the right divided My garments among all of them. And the one who was on the left divided My garments among all of them. 827ec27edc