Catholic World News

Cardinal Turkson backs call for reconsideration of just-war tradition

April 26, 2016

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for a broad discussion of the just-war theory, suggesting that a papal encyclical on the topic might be appropriate and questioning whether the just-war tradition should be abandoned.

Cardinal Peter Turkson spoke out after a Vatican conference co-sponsored by his Pontifical Council and Pax Christi, which concluded with a call for a break from the tradition of just-war teaching. The cardinal said that Pax Christi had made a "very legitimate" argument for change in the Church's stand.

"Too often the 'just-war theory' has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war," the cardinal said; "and it can undermine efforts to develop alternative capacities and tools for conflict to be overcome and transformed." 


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 26, 2016 11:14 PM ET USA

    I was the keynote speaker at a 2014 Veteran's Day event. The topic of my speech was the degree to which each of the U.S.'s last three conflicts conformed to the conditions for a just war. If the just-war teaching were applied to limit the slaughter in the Middle East today, there would be far fewer refugees, and Christianity would still be a force for good in that unhappy part of the world. Wars should be fought for moral good, but not for economic or political "interests" or gain.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Apr. 26, 2016 7:16 PM ET USA

    Say what!? Just look at what's going on around the world. Of course, just giving in to all the forces at work could be considered turning the other cheek.