One of my favorite series outside of video games is the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. It’s basically the origin of the “real robot” mech genre (as opposed to the “super robot” genre), mainly focusing on war dramas that feature robots instead of tanks and planes. In addition, the fact that I like to build the model kits of the robots in the show probably increased my love of the series (I may or may not have come up with the idea for this post while trying to find an excuse to post a picture of my models lol). One entry, however, is pretty strange in that it is actually a super robot show- G Gundam. It actually has an interesting and unique world and plot as a result, so I thought I could talk about how the Catholic Church would respond to the world of G Gundam.
First, I’ll give a quick overview of the world of G Gundam. At some point in the future, the world has become pretty run down due the abuse from mankind. The countries of the world, rather than try to fix the problem, decide instead to just abandon the planet and go live in new pristine space colonies instead.
However, not everyone could make it onto the space colonies before they left, so most of humanity was left behind on Earth. While not 100% abandoned, they are clearly third class citizens and the governments really dont care about their people still on Earth much. In addition, the countries of the world realized that war in space is a really, REALLY bad thing (for evidence of that, just go watch any other Gundam series lol), so to avoid war, they decide instead to have a tournament every four years to decide which country will rule the planet called the Gundam Fight. During the Gundam Fight, each country sends its own giant robot called a Gundam to fight in a tournament with the planet as the arena Some rules include destroying the head of an opponent’s Gundam eliminates them from the tournament, deliberately killing an opponent is forbidden (although it can occasionally happen on accident) and fights can happen anywhere on earth, including the places where people still live. This universe is actually pretty interesting and unique, in contrast to how goofy the rest of the show is (for example, each Gundam is basically a bunch of National Stereotypes. Neo America’s Gundam is a football, surfing, cowboy boxer for example).
So how exactly would the Catholic Church respond to a G Gundam type situation? I think it would in kind of a mixed way. I’ll focus on the abandonment of Earth and the Gundam Fight itself.
I feel like the abandonment of Earth would likely be frowned upon by the Catholic Church for a few different reasons. First of all, the Catholic Church would be against letting Earth get to the point where countries feel the need to just leave. While not against using the resources of the Earth, the Church is against abusing them with no concern for others or the rest of God’s creation. After all, if we go by Genesis, humans are the stewards of the Earth, not its dominators. Pope Francis has talked about this a decent amount during his pontificate if you want to look into the topic more. Beyond that, I don’t think the church would be for a plan to abandon the planet unless there was no other choice. Yeah, if there was a Krypton type situation where the choice was leave or die, I think they would be ok with it (because human life is so precious), but in G Gundam that is not the case. I feel they would instead try and convince everyone to stick around and help clean things up. Finally, I feel that the church would be extremely hard on abandoning the rest of the people on Earth after going to the space colonies. I don’t think there is a problem with space colonies themselves, but ignoring the suffering still going on on Earth would not be ok. If the governments of the colonies were still working to help the people of their country still on Earth, either by trying to get them to the colonies or by supporting them in other ways, I think there would be much less of a problem. Overall, I think that everything involved in the general abandonment of Earth would be frowned upon by the Catholic Church.
Next, let’s talk about the Gundam Fight itself. I think that the idea of avoiding war by instead having some kind of sports like tournament would likely be celebrated (assuming of course, enough limits on the ruling country to prevent them from enforcing unjust laws). While the Catholic Church isn’t completely against war (check out the Just War doctrine), it is definitely something to be avoided as much as possible. That being said, I think I could see a few potential issues with it. First, the fact that the fight takes place on Earth is just not ok. Not only are you wrecking an already wrecked planet, you are also puting the people still on Earth in harm’s way and increasing their suffering by potentially destroying their homes. On top of that, the Gundam Fight is basically an MMA tournament in giant robots. On the one hand, the objection’s I’ve heard to MMA (which aren’t universal but are common in Catholicism) don’t apply to a giant robot fight (as a robot being injured is different from a man being injured), but at the same time, since the cockpits are in the robot, there is still a chance of accidentally being killed if hit in a bad way. I could see the church preferring some other kind of competition instead. So overall, I think the Catholic Church would be OK with the Gundam Fight, but with some tweaks to make it more acceptable.
But the real question on everyone’s mind- would the country of Neo Vatican City participate in the Gundam Fight? In universe the answer is yes just because of how everything is set up, but in real life, I think the answer would be no. I feel that history has shown that when the pope has temporal power (as he would if they won the Gundam Fight), things start to go bad in the hierarchy with people becoming clergy mainly for control of Italy. This is part of why the popes of the 20th century have been so good- the papal states were taken by Italy in the mid 1800s so the pope had no more temporal power. Instead, I see Neo Vatican City having more of an advisory role, kind of like they do in the UN today. That being said, I still want to see what kind of goofy, stereotypical Gundam they’d come up with and how they’d get a pilot (my guess is a new Gundam Fight focused religious order lol). This brings me to what really inspired this post. When the show aired there was a contest to design Gundams for countries not in the show. One of the higher placed designs was for Neo Vatican City- a bishop looking Gundam in this image-
This kind of design would absolutely fit in the world of G Gundam and I love it.
So overall, I think the Catholic Church would be against the abandonment of Earth but ok with the Gundam Fight with a few changes. It’s kind of interesting to think about how the Catholic Church would respond to crazy fictional scenarios, so I might do this a few more times in the future as well. Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of my High Resolution Burning Gundam model (Neo Japan’s fighter and the main Gundam in the series) because now I have the excuse to show it off lol.
One final note- this is the last of my original writing ideas, so updates will be slower in the future, just showing up as I think of things to write about.
Song of the Post-