Where does the Catholic church stand on governments supporting foreign groups or other governments that abuse human rights?

In a Christians perspective; should their/a government support foreign governments/groups that abuse human rights?

  • 1
    You may want to scope this down a bit. There are just too many examples and possible answers. For example, maybe "How did the Catholic church support the Nazi party in Germany?" Otherwise, you can just search new.google.com for Catholicism and see what you come up with. Apr 15, 2014 at 12:58
  • @TheFreemason I think you just Godwined this question. Apr 15, 2014 at 16:45
  • @DJClayworth I didn't know of such a term, thanks for the education. With that said, I didn't intend to Godwin the question. It was just the first that poped into my head. Apr 15, 2014 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


The answer seems obvious: No Church could publicly back any government or foreign group that abuses human rights. Historically, the Church's stance may have been different behind the scenes, as most well-known recently in South America. However, Pope John Paul II issued a number of apologies for past wrongs, on behalf of the Church, and these should define the Catholic Church's present stance on these issues. He apologised for:

  • The legal process on Galileo Galilei, around 1633 (31 October 1992).
  • Catholics' involvement with the African slave trade (9 August 1993).
  • the Church Hierarchy's role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995).
  • the injustices committed against women, the violation of women's rights and the historical denigration of women (10 July 1995, in a letter to "every woman").
  • the inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust ( (16 March 1998).
  • Catholic sex abuse cases (20 November 2001, email from a laptop in the Vatican)
  • the Church-backed "Stolen Generations" of Aboriginal children in Australia
  • the behaviour of Catholic missionaries in China in colonial times.

Pope Francis seems unlikely to depart from the spirit of John Paul's apologies.


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