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New Vatican Document Looks at Religion and Violence

Jan. 17, 2014

The International Theological Commission has published a new document clarifying that Christian belief is not only inherently incompatible with the incitement to violence, but that calls for violence are the religion’s greatest corruption.

The new document, published so far only in Italian on Jan. 16, will soon be made available in other languages. The title is “God, the Trinity, and the Unity of Humanity: Christian Monotheism and its Opposition to Violence”. It is the fruit of a five year study by the commission.

“Our reflection takes the form of a reasoned testimony, not an apologetic argument,” says a summary of the text, published Jan. 16 by the Vatican. “The Christian faith, in fact, sees the incitement of violence in the name of God as the greatest corruption of religion.”

Christianity, it added, “reaches this conviction from the revelation of God’s own life, which is brought to us by Jesus Christ” and says that the Church “is well aware that witnessing to this faith demands a permanent readiness for conversion: which also implies a certain parrhesia, a courageous frankness in self-criticism.”

The document has five chapters: ‘Suspicions Regarding Monotheism”, 'God’s Initiative in the Human Journey', 'God Who Saves us from Violence', 'Faith Faced with the Full Force of Reason', and 'The Children of God Scattered and Gathered'.

The text was approved by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Italian version of the document can be viewed online at


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