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New document critical of 'contrived and misleading' war initiative

Australia and the United States' reasons for going to war are "contrived and misleading", says a position paper to be released today by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).

The 18,000-word document, to be published today, says war will be "immoral and unjust".

War on Iraq: Is it Just? is published by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and written by prominent Melbourne-based Redemptorist social ethicist Fr Bruce Duncan.

ACSJC chairman Bishop William Morris, said: "This is the first time in Western cultural history that our forces will go in without the support of the churches, even in America."

He said the document applies the facts to the church's social justice teaching. Catholics in the armed forces were in a difficult position.

"Civil disobedience is part of our constitution and our society. If our people go to war with the coalition we need to support them as our brothers and sisters," he said.

The paper rejects arguments that Iraq has links to al-Qaeda or that its weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat. It says the US is "disingenuous and specious" in manipulating public opinion.

The Age

Catholic study condemns war (Australian Catholic Social Justice Council media release)
War on iraq unjust and immoral (summary of War on Iraq: Is it Just?)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Why the Morality of War Against Iraq Went Unreported (Bruce Duncan CSsR in Australian Religious, Autumn 2003)

20 Mar 2003