He adds to yesterday’s information:
If anyone were to declare that modern war is necessarily total, and necessarily involves direct attack on the life of innocent civilians, and, therefore, that obliteration bombing is justified, my reply would be: So much the worse for modern war. If it necessarily includes such means, it is necessarily immoral itself.
One of the three tropes one often hears from Red-Blooded Real American Catholics of the Pewsitter mold is that “liberal revisionists of the 60s” are guilty of poisoning public opinion about Hiroshima/Nagasaki with their dissenting liberal ways.
Memo to Red-Blooded Real American Catholics: Fr. Ford, who fought for Humanae Vitae, was defending the Church from liberal dissent about contraception when half the chromosomes of most Red-Blooded Real American Catholics were candidates for the inside of a condom. And it is Holy Church, not liberal dissenters, who teaches that “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” If you are looking to ferret out dissent in your never-ending quest to purify the Church of CINOs, check the mirror. Me: I have no intention of imitating your perpetual demand that people be kicked out of the Church for failure to be as pure as the mandarins of orthodoxy at Pewsitter. But I would suggest that if you cheer for Pewsitter’s link celebrating mass murder, you might drop in for the sacrament of confession at your local parish.
The second trope one constantly hears is the complaint, if you please, that the Church’s teaching on Just War makes it really hard to have a war. Yes. That’s the idea.
The third trope (which I heard plenty of this week) is the absurd notion that, unless a Pope or bishop explicitly declares a war to be unjust, we are basically free to assume it is just. False.
Just to be clear, in the Church’s moral tradition, it is not the case that the bishops have to issue a definitive declaration that a war is unjust. Rather, Caesar has to demonstrate that a war is just. In short, the *presumption* is for peace, not war.
That’s why, when the Church teaches about Just War Doctrine in the Catechism, the section is prefaced, not “Justifying War” but…
2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.105
2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
However, “as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.”
War is the geopolitical equivalent of having to amputate your own leg. The Church approaches it with the same level of eagerness and so should we.
So when JPII says he opposes the Iraq war, and Ratzinger says “the concept of ‘preventive war’ is not in the Catechism of the Catholic Church” and the bishops say, “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” what that means is that those tasked with making the case for just war have failed to do so. The bishops do not need to make the case for unjust war. The state needs to make the case for just war. So, for instance, in Iraq, the American state failed to do this and the pope, Ratzinger and the bishops all said so. The burden of proof was on the state, not the bishops. Catholics are to form their conscience accordingly in harmony with the Magisterium’s guidance, not in accordance with political expedience.
Oh, and one final point. One of the Stupid Dissenter Tricks much beloved by all dissenters against the bleedin’ obvious teaching of the Church (both progressive and reactionary) is to go find some beloved theologian to explain why dissenters don’t have to listen to the bleedin’ obvious teaching of the Church when it inconveniences their politics and ideological commitments. The idea is to create an alternative Magisterium to the real one and let it “correct” the Church’s teaching. When you try to disagree, the dissenter then says “How *dare* you unwashed layman with no “Fr.” in front of your name or letter behind it criticize *priest/distinguished academic/important personage*!”
So guys like Charles Curran and Richard McBrien were huge favorites with the progressive dissenting Pelvic Left when it came to the bleedin’ obvious teaching of Humanae Vitae (which Fr. Ford ardently defended) or the Church’s teaching on women priests. And these days, reactionary dissenting outfits like Pewsitter pull exactly the same stunt by linking some cleric on Youtube who will tell the Real Red-Blooded American Catholic patron of Pewsitter that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was just fine.
And since I don’t have time for the inevitable dumb objection, “But you just linked to Fr. Ford to back you up!” permit me to just head it off at the pass here.
Yes. And that’s because Fr. Ford is defending the teaching of the Church and not dissent from it on both the question of artificial contraception and the question of the morality of mass murder of civilian populations.
Funny thing about dissenters: they come to look and sound more alike each year.