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Spanish theologian says Just War is old hat

The just war theory has given way to a commitment to building a new just world order, according to Spanish Redemptorist theologian Marciano Vidal.

Fr Vidal was echoing the recent stance of Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who said Church teaching on the justice of warfare are evolving, much like the Church's stance on the death penalty.

According to Vidal, moral theology and the Magisterium of the Church have changed assumptions about war. In a press article, he argued that the Church has moved beyond the Just War theory, first to "just defence", then to humanitarian intervention and finally, in our time, to "a commitment to building a new just world order".

Vidal says the new model, which opposes both the defensive war and the preventive war, emerged after September 11. He said the US bishops, who gave qualified support to their country's attack on Afghanistan, were at variance with the stance of the Pope.

He said there is no ambiguity in the Church's position on America's likely pre-emptive strike on Iraq.

"John Paul II is clearly against it and equally contrary is the majority of Episcopal Conferences and Catholic moralists," he said

Vidimus Dominum

New development in Just War teaching [Archbishop Renato Martino] (23/1/03)
Millions march for peace (The Age)
Cardinal [Mahony of Los Angeles] says war with Iraq not justified (AP)
Iraq: More Religious Join Cause of Peace (Vidimus Dominum)
Vatican Isn't the Only One Wary of War: Charges of Interference and Pacifism Don't Hold Up (Zenit)
Is the Pope a quack? High Tory Catholics find themselves at odds with the Vatican over war (The Observer)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Notification regarding certain writings of Fr Marciano Vidal CSsR
Understanding the Just War Theory (National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry)

17 Feb 2003