Neutrality of the MR

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The Serene Monastic Republic of the Holy Mountain is a professedly Christian nation and has an obligation to proclaim the Gospel; not necessarily in an overt way, e.g., by preaching on the street corners, but certainly its actions and attitudes must reflect Gospel values. Therefore the Monastic Republic cannot be a neutral nation in that it has no opinions about anything.

As a human institution the Monastic Republic has a right to express its opinions (which it will probably do only rarely, when asked). Therefore, the Monastic Republic is to be viewed as a non-aligned and non-belligerent nation. The Monastic Republic will not cooperate materially in any armed conflict, but may certainly express its opinion on the armed conflict if the Holy Synod feels the need to do so. Likewise, the Monastic Republic has the right of self-defense. The Gendarmery has been established for the purpose of maintaining peace and order within the Republic, but it certainly can be called upon to resist an armed aggressor until help arrives. The Holy Synod expects that, given the nature of the Monastic Republic, any nation will come to their assistance in the event of evasion. To this end, the Monastic Republic will neither purchase nor own any vehicle or vessel of war, other than the vessels needed to patrol and protect the territorial waters of the Monastic Republic. (Armed agressors aside, there is still a need to protect the Monastic Republic from poachers, smugglers, etc.) The Holy Synod also feels that calling for an embargo is a valid moral statement, although any practical effect would be rather negligible.

The Monastic Republic is not isolationist. What the Monastic Republic hopes to do is to cooperate in projects of a humanitarian or educational nature as much as its resources will allow. While the monks themselves may not leave the monasteries to do this work, their resources may be given to these cooperative projects, e.g., by tithing their income. But it must be remembered that the Monastic Republic is not merely a "bunch of monks." There are lay citizens in the Lowland and the Isles who have the right and the obligation to proclaim the Gospel in ways that are available to them, but not to the monks. There will be citizens who will have expertise to contribute to the world scene. The Monastic Republic has already made it known that arrangements will be made to give women access to the treasures of the monasteries. For example, the Monastic Republic would be glad to provide a medical unity of some kind in an emergency.

Likewise, the Holy Synod offers to the nations of the world its service as an arbiter. The Holy Synod, however, requests that they be asked only in cases involving binding arbitration. As monks, they don't feel that they should be asked to give of their time to come up with a judgment by which neither party has to abide.

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