I was recently talking with a friend about the Church’s position on Abortion. This led to another related subject about the death of innocent lives during war. His observation is that the Church comes very strong on the unborn issue but seems not to make as much noise about the victims of war. I’m looking for some approaches on how to respond please?
I believe Pope John Paul II made some statements about this issue. You could aslo refer your friend to the sections in the Catechism that discuss Just War, weapons of mass destruction, and such things.
[quote=Ruh]I was recently talking with a friend about the Church’s position on Abortion. This led to another related subject about the death of innocent lives during war. His observation is that the Church comes very strong on the unborn issue but seems not to make as much noise about the victims of war. I’m looking for some approaches on how to respond please?
Simply because the Church acknowledges that in a world harmed by sin, war may be a necessity does not mean that the Church sanctions all activities within war. All is not fair in love and war. The reality is that there are innocent victims in war. It is horrible and sad, but if serious precautions are taken to try to eliminate collateral damage, there is really no equivalence with abortion. Abortion is the direct, willed death of an innocent baby prior to its birth. Collateral damage is often neither direct nor willed. Why does your friend think that the Just War Doctrine has to be carefully evaluated? It is precisely to prevent the death of innocence that will occur in war. I am actually sick of this topic because there are so many who think that there is no such thing as just war. I am not suggesting that you are one of those. But clearly the unintended death of innocents during war is a far less grave evil than the deliberate death of innocents in the womb.
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2312 The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties."108
2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.
Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.
2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."109 A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.