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Papal encouragement for Vatican conference questioning just-war theory

April 12, 2016

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to participants in a Vatican conference on non-violence, co-sponsored by Pax Christi and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The conference, taking place in Rome this week, is billed as a reconsideration of the "just war" tradition. In a message to Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pope writes: "Let us rediscover the reasons that led the sons and daughters of a still largely Christian civilization in the last century to create the Pax Christi movement and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace."

The Pope recalls that "the only explicit condemnation issued by the Second Vatican Council was against war, although the Council recognized that, since war has not been eradicated from the human condition, "governments cannot be denied the right to legitimate defense once every means of peaceful settlement has been exhausted."  

 
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