Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





PM quotes Pell wisdom to justify war

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday used Sydney Archbishop George Pell's support of the Just War theory to bolster his case for Australian participation in the proposed US-led war in Iraq.

Speaking on commercial radio in Adelaide, he said: "I've heard some very eminent Christian theologians argue [circumstances in which the Just War theory might apply], and I'm thinking particularly of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. I'm not saying he's agreeing with me on this but he asserts the existence of the just war theory."

Leaving open the question of whether the Just War theory specifically legitimates military action in Iraq, he introduced a moral dimesion to his case for war, asserting that "there's a lot of evil going on in Iraq at the moment".

Earlier this month, Archbishop Pell argued in The Australian that there are circumstances in which war can be morally justified, but "the public evidence is as yet insufficient to justify going to war, especially without the backing of the UN Security Council".

In January, Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Church teaching on the justice of warfare is evolving, implying that a Just War is becoming more improbable.

But in February the US Government sponsored a visit to the Vatican of respected US theologian Michael Novak who argues that the US-led war in Iraq is morally justifiable.

Prime Minister's website

Anger and support for PM's description of peace protesters (ABC Radio 'The World Today')
PM denounces protesters for aiding Saddam (Sydney Morning Herald)
George Pell: The gospel for a just war (The Australian 4/2/03)
New development in Just War teaching [Archbishop Renato Martino] (23/1/03)
Iraq: the moral case for war (Michael Novak in The Tablet)
Theologian [Michael Novak] stands by case for 'just war' (The Universe)
Spanish theologian says Just War is old hat (17/2/03)
At UN, Vatican Envoy States Cause for Peace (Catholic World News)
Iraq: [President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue] Bishop Fitzgerald: War is not against Islam (Vidimus Dominum)
War: The Price is Too High (Marc Purcell, Executive Officer Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace Melbourne in Kairos)
Archbishop Bathersby's statement of support for peace
Cardinal [Tom Williams of Wellington]'s message: "Pray for 'no' to war" (NZ Catholic)
A Moral Justification For War Exists - U.S. envoy James Nicholson (Time)
The moral doubts about 'peace' (Pamela Bone, The Age)
India: Christians Rally In Tribal State To Protest Possible War Against Iraq (UCA News)
[UK Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops] leaders doubt morality of war (The Guardian)
[UK] Archbishops' statement on Iraq (text)
"Could a War Against Iraq be Just?" - Bishop Gerard Holohan of Bunbury, Western Australia
Statement on Inter-Religious delegation from Indonesia (Vatican Information Service)
Holy See addresses U.N. Security Council on Iraq Question (Vatican Information Service)
Pope and Indonesian religious leaders: We must not let politics become a source of ulterior division between religions (MISNA)
Indonesian Delegates Back Vatican Peace Efforts (Catholic World News)

21 Feb 2003