Diarmuid Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin, in Washington, D. These were words used by Pope Pius XII on 24th August 1939, on the eve of World War II, a war which was to bring devastating effects on the entire European continent for the following six years, and which gradually expanded, bringing into its clutches the entire globe. World War II was a war which was accompanied by the horrors of the Holocaust, that terrible mark moral education of children presentation the twentieth century which should be a permanent reminder to all of the depths of depravity to which totalitarian regimes are prepared to stoop, when they remain unchallenged. The outbreak of World War II showed up the weaknesses of the collective security structures which it had been hoped would emerge, at least in an embryonic manner, in the League of Nations.
That early concept of collective security was the fruit of the horrors of World War I. The strong support of President Wilson was crucial for the establishment of the League of Nations. The subsequent lack of support at home in the United States fatally weakened the League of Nations. The inability of the remaining major powers within the League to address aggression, such as the invasion of Ethiopia, finally rendered it ineffective. Collective security requires responsible and coherent action on the part of all. It is worth noting that precisely those generations of the twentieth century which had experienced both the horrors of war and the terrors of totalitarianism felt the need to turn to mechanisms of international cooperation to defend their security.
Those who emerged from the horrors of war seemed to be more clearly aware that security transcends national power, that no one is secure when anyone is insecure. Peace and security are primordial global issues. The Just War Doctrine Pope John Paul II belongs to that generation which bears deep in its own personal identity the experience of World War II. That personal experience has led Pope John Paul to an abhorrence of both the horrors of war and the inhumanity of totalitarian systems.