Sunday, July 04, 2004

Pope John Paul II on the war in Iraq

Polls have suggested that over two-thirds of American Catholics supported the war in Iraq.

"No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity."

"When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society... Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men."

-Pope John Paul II, on the American attack on Iraq


Christopher said...

"Were they ignorant of the Magisterium's teachings? Or did they just not care?" -- I would say that for many, the answer is neither.

There has been a long and ongoing debate on whether the war in Iraq met traditional just-war criteria, whether the Vatican's position was one of categorical opposition to war (even the Vatican curia were not in complete agreement).

The Church teaches that ultimately the ""the evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good." (Not the Pope). The Vatican's recommendation in this case was that the U.S. and its allies defer to the judgement of the U.N. Security Council. Some have contended that the integrity of the Council itself was compromised by the fact that the U.N. (not to mention representatives of France and Russia) were implicated in the "oil-for-food" scandal, and receiving bribes from Saddam Hussein -- which is only now coming to light and being investigated.

Is it honestly fair to charge those who disagreed with the Vatican as being either ignorant or disobedient? -- and if the latter, place them in the same camp as dissenting Catholic groups like 'Call to Action' or "unambiguously pro-abortion" politicians involved in the present 'communion scandal'? (Note: read Russel Shaw and Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests For Life on this question).

More resources regarding both sides of this debate can be found here.

Andy H said...

Thanks for your comments - well articulated and informative. I guess I have further reading to do.

I will say, I am certainly not convinced that the war met the criteria of the Just War theory, and I would tend to take the Pope's comments at face value.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your informative post. I am now reading the Just War link you posted :)