Melbourne Commission calls Iraq war 'morally questionable'
Deployment of Australian troops to Iraq for a possible war was morally questionable, Melbourne's Archdiocesan Commission for Justice, Development and Peace has said.
The Commission said the Government has shut out the Australian public on the issue by failing to recall parliament.
Commission executive officer Marc Purcell said it was untenable the Government appeared to be bypassing United Nations processes.
"Christian teaching tells us that only a legitimate authority such as the UN can conduct any war and that all diplomatic means must have been exhausted before troops are committed," he said.
"The UN inspection teams have not finished their work and the Security Council has made no decision.
"The Australian Government's decision is ill-guided and morally questionable."
Mr Purcell said there was no immediate threat from Iraq, but this could change if the country was threatened by invasion.
Troop Deployment Morally Questionable - Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace (text of statement)
Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace
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CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS CONDEMNS POTENTIAL WAR AGAINST IRAQ
The church's international confederation of Catholic aid agencies condemned a potential pre-emptive attack on Iraq, saying war would be immoral, illegal under international law and disastrous for Iraqi civilians.
In a position paper issued on Tuesday, the Rome-based Caritas Internationalis appealed to world leaders to give "absolute priority" to finding a diplomatic and political solution to the Iraqi crisis.
Caritas said the use of military force in Iraq would lead to a major humanitarian disaster for the country's civilian population, already weakened by 12 years of UN sanctions that have "proven to be ineffective, cruel and dangerous."
Catholic News Service
Caritas Internationalis | Caritas Internationalis Calls for a Peaceful Solution for Iraq (media release 21/3/03) | Iraq: Caritas responds
German Bishops Oppose Attack on Iraq (Zenit)
24 Jan 2003