Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Pope on the Iraq war
There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'.
It is still licit.
In an interview with the journal he founded, 30 Days, [then-Cardinal] Ratzinger said:
This judgment [against the invasion of Iraq] of the [late] Holy Father is convincing from a rational point of view also: reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist. First of all it was clear from the very beginning that proportion between the possible positive consequences and the sure negative effect of the conflict was not guaranteed. On the contrary, it seems clear that the negative consequences will be greater than anything positive that might be obtained. Without considering then that we must begin asking ourselves whether as things stand, with new weapons that cause destruction that goes well beyond the groups involved in the fight, it is still licit to allow that a "just war" might exist... When I said that the Pope's stance is not a question of the doctrine of the faith but is the outcome of a judgment made by an enlightened conscience, and that has its own rational perspicuousness, I meant to say just that. It is a position of Christian realism that, without doctrinal quibbles, assesses the factors in the real situation by keeping in mind the dignity of the human person as the highest value to be respected. (emphasis added)
Stephen Hand adds:
The Catholic Church has thus disappointed Neoconservatives precisely because they wedded themselves to the present age. The Church transcends time-bound materialist political systems and its wars opting rather in favor of just principles which foster the common good — which is far more than a materialist concept — and the dignity of the human person, who "God so loved," that he "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life" (Jn 3:16).
From The Western Confucian.

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