Skip to comments.U.S. Bishops Grapple With the Morality of War With Iraq
Posted on 11/12/2002 4:05:24 PM PST by GeneD
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 -- Amid protests from sex abuse victims, gay Catholics and church reform groups, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops meeting here turned today to devising a statement to express their moral reservations about going to war against Iraq.
That is the kind of global concern that used to preoccupy the bishops before this year, when the church was overwhelmed by the scandal over some bishops' failure to discipline priests who had sexually abused children and teenagers.
On the second day of the bishops' annual conference, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, whose handling of sexual abuse cases has been at the center of the scandal, presided over a debate today on whether war with Iraq qualifies as a just war. As chairman of the bishops' committee on international policy, Cardinal Law will have a major role in drafting a statement representing the view of a body that is clearly not of one mind on the prospect of an American war against Iraq.
Some bishops urged the committee to do more than raise questions about American policy, and give clear moral guidance for Catholics serving in the armed forces.
"We are on the brink of war, and I think we have to be very, very clear, that all of us are against the war in Iraq," Bishop Walter F. Sullivan of Richmond, Va., said.
"We need to be strong. We need to be forceful and not equivocate.
Former Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans, differed, saying, "We ought to be very cautious about saying we are entirely against war." Archbishop Hannan, citing experiences in World War II when he saw the aftermath of the atomic bomb and helped liberate concentration camps, said could see the wisdom in pre-empting a despotic power like Saddam Hussein.
Cardinal Law said the statement was likely to reflect the letter that the bishops sent to President Bush in September, warning that a war against Iraq could have unpredictable consequences for civilians and for stability in Iraq and the Middle East. The letter also questioned the wisdom of unilateral force and asked whether the United States had proved that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Cardinal Law said the statement, expected to be issued on Wednesday, would be a moral reflection on the issue and raise questions around certain key considerations drawn from just-war theory.
As the bishops began trickling out of their morning session at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, three protesters knelt down and opened their hands as if to receive Communion. The protest organizer, the Rev. Mel White, a minister who was once a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and who now leads the gay civil disobedience group Soulforce, explained that the three were gay Catholics who had been denied the Eucharist the previous night at a Mass for the bishops at the National Shrine in Washington D.C.
After ignoring warnings by hotel security, Mr. White and the three protesters, Ken Einhaus of Arlington, Va., Kara Speltz of Oakland, Ca., and Mike Perez of Seattle, were arrested by the police.
At a hotel across the street where victims of sexually abusive priests have gathered, one group distributed a database that it said contained the names of more than 500 clerical molesters, while others pressed for the bishops to do more to strengthen the final version of the sex abuse policy likely to be approved tomorrow.
In a new tactic, one group, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, praised eight bishops who had taken steps like meeting with victims or helping to lobby for laws against statutes of limitations that limit prosecutions of sex abusers.
Anything that is good for Islam, the RCC can be counted on to agree with.
Anything that even MIGHT be good for Israel, the Catholic Church can be counted on to oppose.
"I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet." Ps 18:37-38
Cardinal Law is the voice of moral authority?
They should solve their own problems. My guess is they love an issue to divert attention away from the pedophiles.
I thought they were still grappling with altar boys.
|the letter that the bishops sent to President Bush in September, warning that a war against Iraq could have unpredictable consequences for civilians and for stability in Iraq and the Middle East. The letter also questioned the wisdom of unilateral force and asked whether the United States had proved that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
But this isn't morality. This isn't the province of Bishops. This is just Democrats who happen be preachers taking advantage of their position to help pitch the Democratic Party line. These are the same questions that came out of Daschle's mouth. They are just noise, an attempt to sound reasonable and logical by one whose opposition is in fact emotional and visceral and motivated by fear and appeasement.
One clue that this is so is that we are reading of this in the New York Times. The Times has no use for Bishops. It despises religion. But it will print anything that appears to advance the Democratic Party agenda.
I have never understood the appeal of leftist politics to clerics. The Church is always the first thing to go when leftists seize power.