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: 4/3/2003 9:33:58 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Matthew
Subject: So called mindless Catholics

If you knew about the Catholic Church, you wouldn’t make such comments, and if you knew about the Catholic Church, you would be a Catholic.

To agree with the Pope is not to be mindless, and following as you say, a "papal icon". Our position is based on Catholic tradition and scripture. When the Pope, who at the very least has more experience in PEACEMAKING than anyone in this "Iraqi Theatre", it stands to reason, that from this perspective, one should at least consider his words carefully.

Catholics are bound by the teaching of the Church, handed down by the Apostles since Christianity’s inception. War is a serious propostion, and involves the killing of people, which is in direct conflict to Commandment #5, (in the Catholic numbering: thou shalt not kill).
And yet the Church realizes that there are times when killing can be justified, i.e. self-defense, when the intent is to protect oneself, not to kill someone.

Thus the just war doctrine was fleshed out, which imposes strict conditions in order to start a war.

For Catholics, that recognize Church authority as being instituted by Christ Himself, we are morally obligated to make a choice of conscience regarding the war in Iraq pro or con. Thus, a pro-war advocate cannot simply spout stuff about "God choosing us to fight" or "We must free the Iraqi people!" Similarly, an anti-war position can’t be simply about, "No war for oil!" or "Bush the tyrant!"

When the Pope posits an opinion about the war, while it was not binding to agree with him, his words at least as an experienced PEACEMAKER, and at most as VICAR of Christ should be weighted accordingly. I trust the judgement of the Pope not because I follow mindlessly, but because I’ve given it thought in accords with my faith. I can also say, "The Pope is certainly more experienced than I am in discerning a morally correct action to take, let me hear what he as to say on the matter."

When there are those who are pro-war and can use Catholic doctrine to buttress their claims, I have more respect for that, then those that attempt an attack on the Vatican, at least they play with the cards they’re dealt, and have respect for the Church.

There are many who’ve posted who demonstrate their "mindlessness" and disrespect for the Church either in their disparaging comments about the Vatican, the Pope, and its teachings, or in the wild theological pronouncements about St. Michael leading us into battle against the evil dictator. I tend to think you are not the only Protestant on this forum.

We may just find out how much the Pope was on target.

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