Leading cardinal questions Holy War doctrine
In an article published in the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has insisted that there cannot be a "holy" war, and questions whether even a "just" war is possible.
Cardinal Etchegaray, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, writes that war must never be waged "in the name of God," and stresses the duty of religious leaders to promote peace.
The French-born cardinal condemned the characterisation of warfare as "divine, holy, or simply just." He pointed out that Nazi soldiers in World War II wore the inscription, "Gott mit uns"-- "God with us."
Cardinal Etchegaray did not directly address the traditional Catholic teaching on justice in warfare-- which indicates that under some circumstances, the use of force in defense of innocent lives might be a moral obligation for a state.