Thursday, January 23, 2003


VATICAN, Jan 22, 03 ( -- The new president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has advanced the view that Church teaching on the justice of warfare are evolving-- much like the Church's stance on the death penalty. In an interview with the Roman news agency I Media, Archbishop Renato Martino said that war may be justifiable "under extreme circumstances." But he said that "modern society has enough means [of resolving conflicts] so that we need not have recourse to [war]." Archbishop Martino, who came to his new position at the Vatican after years of representing the Holy See at the UN, said that the pursuit of world peace requires "a lot of work and a lot of courage," as well as constant prayer. Addressing the crisis in Iraq specifically the archbishop said that he still does not believe that war is inevitable. "I think, I pray a lot, and I hope that all the threats coming from both sides& will not lead to action," he said.

I sympathize with the Vatican's tendency to avoid war at all possible cost, but war is a necessary but horrid evil and part of human existence. I think the Vatican and the Europeans tend to weary of wars because they have had centuries of wars. On the other hand, we in the US hadven't had the same war histories.

However, until the heart is cleansed from sin there can be no the world. Furthermore, that's not going to happen until the Kingdom of God is established on this earth.

So, what to do? This is why we pray the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingodm come, they will be done on earth as it is in Heaven . . . lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

In the mean time we need armies and we must fight just wars.


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