Conversation Corner
St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Peace

Does the military action the U.S. is contemplating against Iraq meet the standards of a just war?


Date: 4/2/2003 1:09:40 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Matthew
Subject: Theological Drama

Dear Ron,
I am curious as to the thought process that led you to make your comments. For example when you say "God gives us the right", how is it, do you suppose that you see this, and yet the Vatican did not see that God granted America the licence to go to war with Iraq? Do you suppose that Bush has a keener insight as to what God wants?
Do you suppose that you have a keener insight as to the will of God, then say, the Vicar of Christ?

You also say that we do not have the right to judge who will go to heaven or hell, which is certainly in accord with Catholic teaching, but then you go on to say that those civilians who are killed will be with our Lord in his glory. But according to the first comment you can’t say that either. For all you know those civilians will go to Hell.

You also make this comment:

>>To say that our soldiers are harming innocent civilians is an evasion of the truth. Our soldiers do not intend to harm the innocent. Their motives are pure and just. They fight to remove injustice, criminality and the sorrow of the Iraqi people...<<

Isn’t it an "evasion of the truth" to dismiss civilian casualites by supposing the motives of the people doing it? It is an "evasion" to say "Yes people are dying, but.." Would it make you feel better say, that someone who killed a relative of yours didn’t "mean to". There is a culpability involved.

What if it happens that our objective is not met, or our objective is met, but causes serious casualites? There is a primary Catholic directive that says that evil cannot be done so that good may come out of it. It is that principle that guides the just war doctrine.

I guess I trust in the moral capability of our Pope to determine better than I, as not only a leader in world affairs to promote peace, but also as the Vicar of Christ, that when he says that we have not satisfied the demands of a just war, that we really haven’t, and that St. Michael may not be leading heavenly angels in to fight Iraq.

I am just mainly curious about how a Catholic concludes from weighing the opinion of the Vatican and the opinion from Bush, that God has given us the right to wage war with Iraq.


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