Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Catholic Dictionary




Armed conflict between nations that is morally tolerated on certain conditions. These conditions, first stated by St. Augustine, have become classic in Catholic moral teaching. In order for a war to be just, it must be on the authority of the sovereign, the cause must be just, the belligerents must have a right intention, and the war must be waged by "proper means." The "just cause" means that a nation's rights are being violated by an actual or at least imminent attack; that other means of preventing aggression, e.g., diplomacy or embargo, have been tried and failed or would be useless; and that there is a proportion between the foreseen evils of conflict and the hoped for benefits of engaging in war.