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Justice body urges end to Afghanistan bombing

Bishop William Morris, Acting Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, has today yesterday issued a statement expressing the Australian Social Justice Council's opposition to the current bombing of Afghanistan.

"The use of force, even where there is just cause, must respect moral principles," he said. "The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council is opposed to the current bombing of Afghanistan because we believe that it does not conform to the conditions for a morally legitimate use of force."

Bishop Morris stressed that the ACSJC has been shocked and saddened by the terrorist attacks on Washington DC and New York City on 11 September.

But, he said, "we have watched with growing alarm as the military response to these events has unfolded. We are deeply concerned at this time for the welfare of Australian service personnel deployed in this conflict, and for the civilian population of Afghanistan."

He set out six criteria for the justification of the use of force, and concluded that the present action in Afghanistan is not warranted under the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Bishop Morris then called on the Australian Government to review its support for the military action, and Australia's Catholic community to pray for innocent victims of such action and to welcome those seeking asylum from the conflict in Afghanistan.

The Council has detailed its argument in a Position Paper - 'The Bombing of Afghanistan' - which is available for download from its website.

ACSJC Position Paper 'The Bombing of Afghanistan'