WN: Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy is a tireless Eastern Catholic voice for nonviolence. See his: Center for Christian Nonviolence website. This is a sermon preached in 1993 on the life of Franz Jägerstätter, executed by the Nazis 50 years previously for his refusal to kill for the Nazis. More about him may be found here: Franz Jägerstätter. A movie was also done (with subtitles) on his life, entitled: The Refusal. And in A Hidden Life (2019) – IMDb.
At the hour of his death few people knew him and no one who knew him supported him in his refusal
to kill for the Führer. Legions of Christians told him to do his duty and go to war like the other men. His
bishop, pastor and spiritual advisors endeavored to persuade him that his conscientious objection was
a wrong and futile course. So it can be said with certitude, that when the blade of the guillotine fell at
Brandenburg Prison in Berlin at 4 p.m. on August 9,1943, Franz Jägerstätter was totally alone, almost totally
unknown and destined to be totally forgotten.
However, as a manifestation of how the mystery and power of God’s plan of redemption in Jesus Christ
unconquerably advances in history, today on August 9, 1993, throughout the world millions of people will
stop, think about and be touched by the witness of this man. They may disagree among themselves
about historical details of his life but no one will doubt that the fi nger of God was operative here—
and operative not just for the salvation of Franz Jägerstätter but also for the good of the Church and
through the Church for the good of all people.
Please click here: Jägerstätter: The Man Who Chose to See