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Carroll doubts Just War as Pope sends envoy to Iraq

Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll told a high-profile ABC Radio forum that he's not convinced there is Just Cause for war with Iraq.

Addressing Thursday night's debate, moderated by Phillip Adams in Old Parliament House, Archbishop Carroll said the first requirement for a Just War was that there had to be Just Cause.

"Usually defence against an unjust aggressor would be seen as a Just Cause," he said.

Second, he said, there must be a Right Intention on the party undertaking the Just War and to oppose terrorism and weapons of mass destruction could constitute a Right Intention.

The decision had to be taken by a Legitimate Authority, in this case the United Nations, there needed to be a Reasonable Chance of Success, Proportion between the evil of war and the evil to be eliminated and war must be a Last Resort.

"At the moment, I am not yet convinced that to take pre-emptive action against Iraq would be a Just War," he concluded.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Archbishop Francis Carroll - transcript of Radio National Old Parliament House Debate
Public Debate: Should Australia go to war in Iraq? (ABC Radio National - Late Night Live) | Audio (requires Real player)


Pope John Paul II will dispatch a special envoy to Iraq to emphasise his plea for peace and to encourage Iraqi authorities to cooperate with the United Nations, the Vatican announced on Sunday.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, emeritus president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will leave Rome on Monday for Baghdad, accompanied by a counsellor, Monsignor Franco Coppola.

Their mission is to "show to all the plea of the Holy Father in favour of peace and to help the Iraqi authorities to seriously reflect on the need for effective international cooperation, based on justice and international rights, with the aim of assuring this population of the supreme good of peace," papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement.

The Vatican has been outspoken in its opposition to a new Iraq conflict, with top officials saying a preventive US-led attack would have no legal or moral justification. The Holy Father himself has said war against Iraq would be a "defeat for humanity".

Pope John Paul reiterated his concerns on Sunday, telling crowds gathered in St. Peter's
Square for his weekly appearance: "In this hour of international concern, we all feel the need to turn ourselves to the Lord to implore the great gift of peace."

The pope was a vocal opponent of the 1991 Gulf War, and has frequently spoken out in opposition to U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Etchegaray previously has served as the pope's envoy to trouble spots, most recently to the Middle East, where he tried to help end the standoff last year between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen holed up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.



Caritas International, the Catholic Church-run worldwide assistance network, is preparing to address the consequences of a possible military attack on Iraq.

"We are preparing to be massacred," the Caritas-Iraq office said.

During a meeting with the media on Wednesday, Jose Sanchez Faba, Director of Caritas-Spain, explained that the different national Caritas offices (there are 154 worldwide) are preparing to give humanitarian assistance, in case the United States attacks Iraq.

Many have already begun to collect provisions, medicine, and clothes as a precaution. The office of Cartas-Iraq, located in Amman, Jordan, will coordinate Caritas' humanitarian aid if hostilities do break out.

"We estimate that there will be around 500,000 displaced people if the war breaks out," the directors of Caritas-Spain said, "and this only if it is, as the U.S. has announced, a rapid action. If the war is prolonged, the number would be much greater."

"Caritas-Iraq has already appealed for help from different delegations of the association, [asking] them to send provisions, clothes, etc., as people would go to the churches for protection in case of war," they said.


Pakistan Catholic Religious March To Protest Possible U.S. Attack On Iraq (UCA News)
Pope Sends Special Envoy to Baghdad (Catholic World News)
Iraq: Dominicans Planning New Projects (Vidimus Dominum)
Iraq's Aziz to pray for peace (Reuters)
Iraq: North American Consensus against the War especially in Canada (Fr Ron Rolheiser, quoted by Vidimus Dominum)
John Paul II Calls for Peace in Iraqi Crisis (Zenit)
Pope sends envoy to talk with Iraqis (Washington Times)
Pope Is Sending Envoy to Baghdad in Effort to Avert a War (New York Times)
Mission to avert 'clash of civilisations' (London Times)
Pope takes issue with America's 'just war' (London Times)
Papal envoy will urge Iraqis to aid inspectors (New York Times/International Herald Tribunal)
Pope Sends Papal Envoy to Baghdad (Zenit)
Panelists trace role of religion in foreign policy (Catholic News Service)
Rome resists Bush's plea for a blessing on aggression (Ray Cassin in The Sunday Age)
Don't use war to respond to Iraq, Vatican rep says after Powell talk
There is still time (NZ Church Leaders)
Pope and German Foreign Minister Discuss Iraq and Europe (Zenit)
Iraq: In War Jesuits not to Abandon Poor, Women, Children (Vidimus Dominum)
Iraq: Jesuits: No Moral Justification for a Preventive War (Vidimus Dominum)
Pope steps up peace drive (Reuters)
Pope, German Foreign Minister Discuss Iraq Crisis (Catholic World News)

11 Feb 2003