Thursday, November 14, 2002

Catholic Bishops Take a Stand

According to the latest reports, a committee of Roman Catholic Bishops in the US is going to oppose an attack on Iraq on the basis of Just War theory. Among those commenting on the stance was Bishop Edward Braxton of Lake Charles, Louisiana. He noted that "a large number" of the nation's 65 million Catholics do not understand the church's teaching on criteria for a "just war" and have "a general we-don't-like-Saddam-Hussein" attitude.

My experience tends to lead me to agree with Bishop Braxton, except I would change the wording of his position to the following:

“A large number of the nation’s Catholic Bishops do not understand the church’s teaching on criteria for a “just war” and have “a general we-don’t-like-thinking” attitude.

In this vein, I’d like to mention John’s post a while back concerning the death of Father Ernest Fortin. Father Fortin was my doctoral advisor at Boston College until he suffered a stroke in 1997. He belonged to the order of the Augustinian Assumptionists. He told me the order was formed in the nineteenth century in response to the general intellectual and moral decline in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Considering that the committee now opposing an invasion of Iraq is headed by Bernard Law, the Bishop recently embroiled in scandal over charges of sexual abuse by priests, I think the Roman Catholics may want to consider the model of the Augustinian Assumptionists once more.

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