How about “Come to me, my melancholy baby?”

A reader asks:

Do you take blog requests? Here’s something I am hoping to see discussed: a no-nonsense, concise treatment of Catholic just war doctrine.

There just isn’t much just war material in the media — including Catholic media — with much authority. For instance, I’ve heard that just war is now limited to defensive purposes. If so, this would be a doctrinal development, but I cannot trace this development. In fact, I’ve not seen anything authoritative that explicitly limits just wars to defense (I checked Gaudium et Spes and the Catechism). On the other hand, the old Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on war allows other motives. Various bishops’ statements — including Cardinal Ratzinger’s — have not been helpful. Is just war theology half-baked right now?

My apologies if St Blog’s Parish has dealt with this topic elsewhere. I cannot keep track of them all.

There’s been some discussion on this blog. My own take is influenced by George Weigel, who’s done more thinking about Just War than most and has written a fine book (one of many) Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace and who argues (convincingly to my mind) for the coming war with Iraq.