"Military intervention in Libya, in the judgment of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “appears to meet” the just-cause criterion of Catholic teaching on just war. The USCCB, however, cautioned that it has “refrained from making definitive judgments” in light of “many prudential decisions beyond our expertise.”
“In Catholic teaching the use of force must always be a last resort that serves a just cause,” Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote in a letter to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church limits just cause to cases in which ‘the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations [is] lasting, grave and certain’ (#2309). The just cause articulated in UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to demand ‘a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians’ appears to meet this criterion in our judgment.”"
We find ourselves in a new war (whether we choose to call it that or not) in yet another Muslim country, backing a group that we know little about but which seems to be, because one of its leaders has said as much, affiliated with al-Qaeda, and the American Bishops have pronounced it just. Why? Because the U.N. is nominally in control of the situation? Or because President Obama is one of their own politically? I don't know but something isn't right.
This is what this same group of Bishops had to say about our invasion of Iraq:
"Based on the facts that are known to us, we continue to find it difficult to justify the resort to war against Iraq, lacking clear and adequate evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature. With the Holy See and bishops from the Middle East and around the world, we fear that resort to war, under present circumstances and in light of current public information, would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for overriding the strong presumption against the use of military force.*"
I'm curious how Libya differs from Iraq in "lacking clear and adequate evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature"? We have not been attacked and neither was any other nation in the United Nations coalition. Libya is undergoing an internal civil war, the people having risen up, for whatever reason, to throw off their own government. Sure, Gaddafi is a butcher, a terrorist and a killer. But he's been that way a long time. And yes, he'll kill the people that turned on him if he wins the war. But they knew that going in and still figured it was worth the cost. So how does any of this justify ours or any other nations involvement in this mess?
Also, we didn't go in to stop the fighting. We went in and clearly took sides, backing the rebels with air power and supplies. We clearly intend to see Gaddafi taken out. How does all this fit into your just war theory, Bishops?
This pronouncement from the Bishops seems to me to be more about politics than faith and morals. But then lately most everything from the USCCB seems that way. I'm to the point of not listening to them at all anymore. They've become representatives of the Democrat party, not the Church leaders they're supposed to be.
But, the African Bishops and possibly the Pope disagree with our American Church leaders:
"“The Holy Father's appeal was wonderful news and gives us great comfort. The Pope spoke words that affirm the need for reconciliation, peace and dialogue,” said Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. On Sunday, March 27, upon praying the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI launched “an urgent appeal to international organisations and political and military leaders for immediate dialogue, to suspend the use of arms.”
“We have translated today's appeal by the Holy Father into Arabic and we will send it as a voice message to the Libyan Foreign Ministry, for their information,” says Bishop Martinelli. The Apostolic Vicar states that he did not participate in the event of Saturday, 26 March (see Fides 26/03/2011), and that in any case, as he explained to Fides, he would join in only if it had been a peace rally. “They have not asked again for our presence,” says Bishop Martinelli. “It was a manifestation to reaffirm the national unity of Libya. We have joined the tribal leaders, intellectuals and other personalities. I do not think either side wants a divide in Libya. However, this emphasises the need for dialogue to end the crisis,” says the Vicar Apostolic of Tripoli."
"Following the midday Angelus prayer this Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI launched the following urgent appeal:
“Faced with the increasingly dramatic reports from Libya, my trepidation for the safety and security of civilians and my concern for the unfolding situation, currently signed by the use of arms, is growing. In times of greatest tension, the need to put to use all means available to diplomacy becomes increasingly urgent and to support even the weakest signs of openness and willingness on both sides involved, for reconciliation in search of peaceful and lasting solutions. In view of this, as I lift my prayer to the Lord for a return to harmony in Libya and the entire North African region, I also appeal to the international bodies and all those in positions of military and political responsibility, for the immediate start of dialogue and the suspension of the use of weapons”.
“Finally, my thoughts turn to the authorities and citizens of the Middle East, where in recent days there have been several incidents of violence, so that the path of dialogue and reconciliation be privileged in the search for a just and brotherly coexistence”."
Catholicism Pure and Simple