The martyrdom at the hands of Islamists of the catholic priest in France this past week forces us to ask when is it licit to use force? The long Catholic tradition has had to answer this question many times in the past from day after the resurrection of Christ when the Jews mercilessly began to persecute the Church. The answers Catholic tradition and dogma and official doctrine (as explicated in the official Catholic catechism) is that Christians not only are permitted to use force in self defense but are required to do so to protect self and others and church.
There is now abundant evidence that the long war between the heresy Islam and the Church not only continues today but it flaring up again into open hostilities again today. For any with eyes to see let them see and act. Chrisitianity is under assault by Islam everywhere in the world today. One can argue who started the recent hostilities (I am very sympathetic to Muslim complaints against the West’s invasions of Islamic countries and the brutality of the invasions as well as the reflexive support by the USA for Israeli outrages against defenceless Palestinian civilians). Despite the West’s crimes against defenceless muslim populations in the past…and I agree that there were such crimes, we still are facing assaults from Islam in both its terrorist guise and in its immigration guise.
At some point Christians have to examine Islam as deeply as possible and decide whether or not it is compatible with Christian culture and existence. Islamists have done the same with respect to Christianity and they have decided that Christianity must be eliminated. This is a centuries long fight and you must choose sides.
I recommend this piece by Fr Rutler: