TCC Films: Franz Jagerstatter A Man of Conscience

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Franz Jagerstatter on his motorcycle

Today is the memorial of the martyrdom of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter (above on his motorcycle). Jagerstatter was the only Austrian Catholic who refused orders to fight in the Nazi army, even though he knew it would mean being being beheaded and never seeing his wife and four children again. At the time his sacrifice was uniformly regarded as foolish.  But when American author, Gordon Zahn, heard of Jagerstatter while researching his book, Jagerstatter’s heroism began to have a tremendous impact on the Roman Catholic Church who re-emphasized the Christian tradition of conscientous objection and refusal to fight in unjust wars. The Church realized that if all Christians had, like Jagerstatter, been willing to die rather than to participate in evil by fighting in Hitler’s armies, Hitler would have had no armies to speak of. As Blaise Pascal writes in his Pensees, “When everything is moving at once nothing appears to be moving, as on board a ship. When everyone is moving towards depravity no one seems to be moving, but if someone stops he shores up the others who are rushing on, by acting as fixed point.” Watch the trailer for the film, narrated by Martin Sheen, Franz Jagerstatter A Man of Conscience here: