Pope Francis was asked yesterday if he approved of the US airstrikes against the ISIS terrorists in Iraq:
“In these cases where there is unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb ‘stop’; I don’t say bomb, make war — stop him. The means by which he may be stopped should be evaluated. To stop the unjust aggressor is licit, but we nevertheless need to remember how many times, using this excuse of stopping an unjust aggressor, the powerful nations have dominated other peoples, made a real war of conquest. A single nation cannot judge how to stop this, how to stop an unjust aggressor. After the Second World War, there arose the idea of the United Nations. That is where we should discuss: ‘Is there an unjust aggressor? It seems there is. How do we stop him?’ But only that, nothing more.”
Go here to read the rest. A few observations:
1. In most cases stopping an unjust aggressor is going to require military action. PopeWatch can think of very few examples in history where an unjust aggressor has been stopped by anything else.
2. In regard to the Pope’s statement that powerful nations can use the pretext of an unjust aggression to wage a war of conquest, PopeWatch can think of a few examples, including the Austrian reaction to the Sarajevo assassination. In the context of ISIS slaughtering Christians and others however, and with the Iraqi government crying out for help, the Pope’s comment seems beside the point.
3. The faith of the popes in regard to the United Nations has always struck PopeWatch as quite irrational, especially now that the United Nations bureaucracy is dominated by anti-Catholics eager to use the Church as a whipping boy. What it would take to shake the grasp of the United Nations on the papal zeitgeist is something to ponder.