Above the Battle
and those criminal rulers whose measureless ambition has given the world over to misery and death? May God inspire the new Pontiff who has just ascended the throne of St. Peter with words and deeds which will cleanse the Church from the stain of this silence.
As for you socialists who on both sides claim to be defending liberty against tyranny—French liberty against the Kaiser, German liberty against the Tsar, is it a question of defending one despotism against another? Unite and attack both.
There was no reason for war between the Western nations; French, English, and German we are all brothers and do not hate one another. The war-preaching press is envenomed by a minority, a minority vitally interested in maintaining these hatreds; but our peoples, I know, ask for peace and liberty and that alone. The real tragedy, to one situated in the midst of the conflict and able to look down from the high plateaus of Switzerland into all the hostile camps, is the patent fact that actually each of the nations is being menaced in its dearest possessions—in its honour, its independence, its life. Who has brought these plagues upon them? brought them to the desperate alternative of overwhelming their adversary or dying? None other