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War From The Catholic Perspective

Sat Nov 17, 2001 7:39 am

I've been seeing a lot of pro-war posts by those who claim to be Christian. I'm not Catholic (see profile if you care) but I like the below pronouncement.....

Alan Cooperman - Washington Post

WASHINGTON _ The nation's Roman Catholic bishops declared Thursday that the United States has a moral right to wage war against terrorists in the aftermath of Sept. 11, but also must pay greater attention to the roots of terrorism.

About 260 bishops, meeting here in their semiannual general assembly, called on the Bush administration to lift sanctions on Iraq, work urgently to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and be more generous in fighting poverty around the world.

"No grievance, no matter what the claim, can legitimate what happened on Sept. 11," they said, but added: "Without in any way excusing indefensible terrorist acts, we still need to address those conditions of poverty and injustice which are exploited by terrorists."

The bishops voted to reject a plea by Thomas Gumbleton, the auxiliary bishop of Detroit, for a purely nonviolent response to the attacks on New York and Washington. But some of his colleagues clearly were stirred by Gumbleton's appeal for a "return to the original teaching of the church" that violence is never the answer.

Their final statement said that "principled non-violence ... is a valid Christian response" and that "military force, even when justified and carefully executed, must always be undertaken with a sense of deep regret."

"What we were trying to do was achieve a balance," Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, who oversaw the drafting of the statement, said after it was adopted by a 167-4 vote.

While bishops "feel that the military action undertaken was justified by moral principles," Law said, "at the same time, we believe that military action, once begun, has to be monitored for its adherence to those moral principles."

Personally, I wish I had a better answer, a more peaceful answer, to the worlds problems....I can only call myself an "almost pacifist"...and again...I admit that I don't have a better way to stop terrorism than what we are doing now. I don't disagree with the bombing campaign but I do believe we need to take a look at our foreign policy and use war as a last resort. For the away...but what I'd really like to see is those who claim to follow Christ's example defend their very pro-war statements against the teachings of the new testament......

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Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: War From The Catholic Perspective

Sat Nov 17, 2001 9:08 am

Well, not that I am pro-war (as you said, it should be last resort--as it was in this case), but I am pro-this war. I agree with a lot of what the article says, but not all of it.

As for the teachings of the New Testament--

Although not the words of Christ, I believe Romans 13:4b puts it well:

"[The ruler] is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

There may be many more passages dealing with this issue, but I'm most familiar with this one. I agree with it. This war is not of revenge, not unprovocated. It is a punishment (by eradication, hopefully) of the wrongdoer. I believe our cause is just.

RE: War From The Catholic Perspective

Sat Nov 17, 2001 9:13 am

I wonder what he would say if England declared war on Ireland (home of many Catholics) for all the terrorists acts they have commited over the years. I highly doubt he would say "feel that the military action undertaken was justified by moral principles".

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