BREAKING- Pope Francis says use of force in Iraq can be justified



Pope Francis says use of force in Iraq can be justified but he declines to endorse US airstrikes; says one nation can’t decide how.

Pope Francis also says he’s willing to go to Iraq if necessary to stop the violence.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) – Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop “unjust aggressors” such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

The pope also said he was willing to travel to the war zone if necessary to stop the violence.

Pope Francis made his remarks Aug. 18 during an hourlong inflight news conference on his way back from South Korea.

Asked about the airstrikes Aug. 11, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, told Vatican Radio: “This is something that had to be done, otherwise (the Islamic State) could not be stopped.”

When a reporter on the plane asked Pope Francis whether he approved of the airstrikes, he replied:

“In these cases where there is unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb ‘stop’; I don’t say bomb, make war – stop him. The means by which he may be stopped should be evaluated. To stop the unjust aggressor is licit, but we nevertheless need to remember how many times, using this excuse of stopping an unjust aggressor, the powerful nations have dominated other peoples, made a real war of conquest. A single nation cannot judge how to stop this, how to stop an unjust aggressor. After the Second World War, there arose the idea of the United Nations. That is where we should discuss: ‘Is there an unjust aggressor? It seems there is. How do we stop him?’ But only that, nothing more.”


I wonder how the Pope sees himself stopping violence in Iraq?:confused:


He should go and see if he can do anything then.

#4 the papal plane, Aug 18, 2014 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis supports international intervention in Iraq and is willing to go to there personally if it will help end the violence against Christians and other religious minorities.

“In these cases where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor,” Pope Francis told reporters.

“I underscore the verb 'stop.' I don't say 'to bomb' or 'make war,' (but) 'stop it.'”

Speaking to journalists aboard the Aug. 18 plane flight back to Italy from South Korea, the Pope noted the Holy See's diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Iraq, especially against Iraqi minorities.

In response to the question on Iraq posed by CNA and EWTN News Rome bureau chief Alan Holdren, Pope Francis said that a papal visit to Iraq was “one of the possibilities.”

“And in this moment, I am ready.” He added: “and right now it isn't the most, the best thing to do but I am disposed to this.”

Military victories by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) have resulted in persecution and murder of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities. Tens of thousands have fled their homes.

Many have taken refuge in the northern region known as Kurdistan.

A papal communique against the violence has been sent to all the nunciatures and a letter written to the United Nations’ Secretary General. The Pope has met with the governor of Iraqi Kurdistan and has named Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his personal envoy to Iraq.

Pope Francis stressed that the means to stop violence in Iraq must be evaluated and that the violence cannot be used as a pretext for other goals.

“To stop the unjust aggressor is licit. But we also have to have memory, as well, eh. How many times under this excuse of stopping the unjust aggressor the powers have taken control of nations. And, they have made a true war of conquest,” he said. “One single nation cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor.”

The Pope noted the establishment of the United Nations after World War II and the need to discuss unjust aggression there.

“I am only in agreement in the fact that when there is an unjust aggressor that he is stopped,” he said. “Stopping the unjust aggressor is a right that humanity has but it is also a right of the aggressor to be stopped so he doesn't do evil.”

The Pope stressed the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.

“They speak to me of the Christians, poor Christians, and the martyrs – and yes, there are so many martyrs – but here there are men and women, religious minorities, and not all Christian and all are equal before God, no?”

The Pope also condemned “cruelty” in warfare, especially towards children and other non-combatants.

“Today, children don’t count. Once they spoke of ‘conventional warfare.’ Today this doesn't count,” he lamented. “I’m not saying that the conventional war is a good thing, but today the bomb goes and kills the innocent with the culpable with the child and the women and mother. They kill everyone. But, we need to stop and think a bit about what level of cruelty we have reached. This should scare us.”

This comment is “not to create fear,” but rather a cause for more study, the Pope said.

“The level of cruelty today of humanity is a bit scary,” he added. He also vocally rejected torture.

“Today, torture is one of the almost ordinary means of acts of intelligence services, of judicial processes. And, torture is a sin against humanity. It is a crime against humanity. And, to Catholics I say that torturing a person is a mortal sin. It is a grave sin. But, it’s more. It's a sin against humanity.”

The Pope’s remarks also touched on the prayer for peace at the Vatican, where he hosted the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian state as well as the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople.

“These two men are men of peace. They are men who believe in God. They have lived so many nasty things, so many nasty things. They are convinced that the only path to resolve that situation is negotiation, dialogue, peace.”

“Was it a failure? No, I think that the door is open.”

“Now the smoke of the bombs of the wars don't allow us to see the door but the door is still open from that moment,” Pope Francis said. “As I believe in God, I believe that God is watching that door and all who pray and ask that he help us.

Full article…


If the Pope were to go to Iraq, it would surely bolster the faith of the Roman Catholics that are being murdered. But, what else could he hope to accomplish? ISIS isn’t going to stop what they’re doing simply because the Pope landed in their battlefield.


Most pacifists wold agree a strongly worded letter ought to do the trick


You forgot the :rolleyes:


Who was the Pope that confronted some invasion on Rome and deterred them the other way? It was some hundreds of years ago, I think…


Yes! I was just about to mention this. In A.D. 452 Attilla the Hun was on the verge of sacking Rome, but after a private conversation with Pope Leo I, he “suddenly retreated” (in the words of historian John Bury).


It is not that the Pope personally believes that he can defeat ISIS. It is rather to say that he is willing to place himself personally in harms way, if it could help. He wishes to avoid telling other people to put themselves in harms way while he watches from his suite in Hotel Saint Martha.

He also wishes avoid making an apparently overtly political statement endorsing unilateral airstrikes; he wishes that there be a worldwide consensus on how to proceed, which would be best. He is not a military expert, and does not purport to know the best answer for the world.


In addition to the story of Attila the Hun, mentioned above, there is also the Battle of Ostia and the Battle of Garigliano, Muslim invasions at which the pope played a decisive role.

846 A.D. - Battle of Ostia - Butler’s Lives - “[Muslims] had lately plundered St. Peter’s church [in] the Vatican, and were still hovering about Rome. … To prevent a second plundering of that holy place, [Pope Leo IV], with the [approval] and liberal contributions of the emperor Lothaire, enclosed it and the whole Vatican hill with a wall…which from him is called Leonin[e] [Wall].”

And: “[Then] the [Muslims] marched towards Porto in order to plunder that town. [The city of Naples] sent an army to the assistance of the Romans: the pope met these troops at Ostia, gave them his blessing, and all the soldiers received the holy communion at his hands. After the pope’s departure, a bloody battle ensued, and the [Muslims] were all slain, taken, or dispersed.” (July 17)

915 A.D. - Battle of Garigliano - “[T]he pope quickly sent messengers to Constantinople, humbly asking that the help of the emperor be given to him. … [And] the emperor, as a very holy man and one fearing God, without delay sent troops transported with ships. And when they disembarked across the Garigliano river, Pope John was there with Landulf, [a] most potent prince of [Italy]… Finally quite a hideous battle developed between the two sides. … Therefore, with the Greeks and Latins fighting every day, by God’s mercy not one of the [Muslims] survived who was not put to the sword or captured alive.” (Liutprand of Cremona Retribution Book 2 Paragraphs 52-54)


Well said! :slight_smile:




Pope Pius V & Lepanto, 1571: The Battle that Saved Europe

“Pope Pius V, who had commanded the faithful to pray the rosary for victory, was convinced that it was prayer that had turned the tide. The Battle of Lepanto became the feast day of Our Lady of Victory, later of Our Lady of the Rosary.”

The Link:


Please show me where Pope Francis said the

use of force in Iraq can be justified


I think it’s here:


Where’s the quote?


And we should all be praying our rosaries daily to stop this senseless bloodshed - and pray daily to Our Lady of the Rosary to convert the souls of ISIS (remember, Islam exalts Mary as much, if not more, than Catholicism). Pope (soon Blessed) Pius XII published a prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary during WWII, but the only place I can find it is in my Catholic Devotional book from the 1950s (which I inherited from my great aunt when she died). And if you have financial means, please - please - do what you can to support our brothers and sisters!


An article on Yahoo! already drew comparisons to the Crusades. :mad: That’s all we need: for the West to provide jihadis with justification for their terrorism.


Pope Francis said that military intervention to stop the slaughter of Christians in Iraq is warranted, but cautioned against unilateral action by the US, in a press conference as he …


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