Pope Saint John Paul II on "The Propaganda Machine, Widespread Use Of Another Deadly Instrument Of War"
By Martin Hill
LibertyFight.com
November 23, 2014


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It's not often noted that that a Catholic canonized saint gave speeches decrying war propaganda, which, as he put it, is "directed especially to the young." Pope John Paul II was Canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014. [Here is his index page at the Vatican website and a photo gallery of the event.] While Pontiff, Pope John Paul II delivered his "MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN EUROPE" on Monday, May 8, 1995.

The pope began with a strong rebuke of "stifling of all freedom through police control and the psychological conditioning resulting from the unilateral use of the media." He explained "totalitarianism destroys fundamental human freedoms and tramples upon human rights. Manipulating public opinion with the incessant pounding of its propaganda, it makes it easy to yield to the attraction of violence and weapons and in the end it overturns our human sense of responsibility." He continued "It is in fact characteristic of all totalitarian regimes to create an enormous propaganda machine in order to justify their own crimes...War gives rise to a propaganda which leaves no room for different interpretations, critical analysis of the causes of conflict, and the attribution of real responsibility."

Here are excerpts:

"The world, and Europe in particular, headed towards that enormous catastrophe because they had lost the moral strength needed to oppose everything that was pushing them into the maelstrom of war. For totalitarianism destroys fundamental human freedoms and tramples upon human rights. Manipulating public opinion with the incessant pounding of its propaganda, it makes it easy to yield to the attraction of violence and weapons and in the end it overturns our human sense of responsibility.

At the time, unfortunately, people failed to understand that when freedoms are trampled on, the foundations are laid for a dangerous decline into violence and hatred, the harbingers of the "culture of war". This is precisely what happened: it was not difficult for leaders to induce the masses to make that fatal choice, by spreading the myth of the superman, by applying racist or antisemitic policies, by showing contempt for the lives of people considered useless because they were sick or asocial, by religious persecution and political discrimination, by the progressive stifling of all freedom through police control and the psychological conditioning resulting from the unilateral use of the media. These were precisely the stratagems to which Pope Pius XI of happy memory referred when in his Encyclical Letter Mit brennender Sorge of 14 March 1937 he spoke of "baleful designs" appearing on the horizon (8)...

The Propaganda Machine

10. A further reflection is called for. During the Second World War, in addition to conventional, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, there was widespread use of another deadly instrument of war: propaganda. Before striking the enemy with weapons aimed at his physical destruction, efforts were made to annihilate him morally by defamation, false accusations and the inculcation of an irrational intolerance, by means of a thorough programme of indoctrination, directed especially to the young. It is in fact characteristic of all totalitarian regimes to create an enormous propaganda machine in order to justify their own crimes and to provoke ideological intolerance and racial violence against those who do not deserve - it is claimed - to be considered an integral part of the community. How distant all this is from an authentic culture of peace! Such a culture presupposes a recognition of the intrinsic link between truth and love. The culture of peace is built by rejecting at the outset every sort of racism and intolerance, by withstanding racist propaganda, by keeping economic and political ambition within due limits and by decisively rejecting violence and all forms of exploitation.

The perverse techniques of propaganda do not stop at falsifying reality; they also distort information about where responsibility lies, thus making an informed moral and political judgment extremely difficult. War gives rise to a propaganda which leaves no room for different interpretations, critical analysis of the causes of conflict, and the attribution of real responsibility. This emerges quite clearly from our information about the years 1939-1945, and from the documentation concerning other wars which broke out in subsequent years. In every society, war leads to a totalitarian use of the means of communication and propaganda, which fails to inculcate respect for others and esteem for dialogue, but rather encourages suspicion and a desire for reprisals.

....Today too many conflicts are still raging in different parts of the world. Public opinion, shaken by the horrible pictures which enter homes each day via television, reacts emotionally but all too quickly grows accustomed to these conflicts and comes to accept their inevitability. Besides being unjust, this attitude is extremely dangerous. We must never forget what happened in the past and what is still happening today. These are tragedies which affect countless innocent victims, whose cries of terror and suffering are a challenge to the consciences of all decent men and women. We cannot and must not yield to the logic of arms!.... Sadly, while we are celebrating the return of peace, is it not a fact that there are people who continue to prepare for war, both by promoting a culture of hatred and by distributing sophisticated weapons of war?///

Twenty years after the end of the Second World War, in 1965, Pope Paul VI, addressing the United Nations Organization, asked: "Will the world ever come to change the selfish and bellicose outlook that has spun out such a great part of its history up to now?" (22). This question still awaits a response. May the memory of the Second World War rekindle in all — according to their possibilities — a resolve to work for a firm political commitment to peace in Europe and in the entire world.

A special significance for youth

15. My thoughts now turn to the young people who have had no personal experience of the horrors of that War. To them I say: dear young people, I have great confidence in your ability to be authentic witnesses to the Gospel. Make a personal commitment to serve life and peace. The victims, the combatants and the martyrs of the Second World War were for the most part young people like you. For this reason I ask you, the young people of the 21st century, to be particularly alert to the signs that the culture of hatred and death is growing. Reject sterile and violent ideologies. Renounce every form of extreme nationalism and intolerance. It is along these paths that the temptation to violence and war slowly but surely appears

In a separate declaration regarding the "cold war," the pope said "It was inevitable that by developing antagonistic systems and centers of power, each with its own forms of propaganda and indoctrination, the ideological opposition should evolve into a growing military opposition and give rise to two blocs of armed forces, each suspicious and fearful of the other's domination."

In EVANGELIUM VITAE given at Saint Peter's on March 25, 1995, the pope stated, in part,

"The passing of unjust laws often raises difficult problems of conscience for morally upright people with regard to the issue of cooperation, since they have a right to demand not to be forced to take part in morally evil actions. Sometimes the choices which have to be made are difficult; they may require the sacrifice of prestigious professional positions or the relinquishing of reasonable hopes of career advancement...

In order to shed light on this difficult question, it is necessary to recall the general principles concerning cooperation in evil actions. Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. Such cooperation occurs when an action, either by its very nature or by the form it takes in a concrete situation, can be defined as a direct participation in an act against innocent human life or a sharing in the immoral intention of the person committing it. This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it. Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).

To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right. Were this not so, the human person would be forced to perform an action intrinsically incompatible with human dignity, and in this way human freedom itself, the authentic meaning and purpose of which are found in its orientation to the true and the good, would be radically compromised. What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law."

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    Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.



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