John Paul II & the Iraq War

John Paul II was very vocal about the Iraq war and seriously condemned it. There were some Conservative Catholics residing in America who tried to reason with John Paul 2 that the invasion of Iraq was not an immoral act but a sensible idea. However, no amount of justification could convince him otherwise. He vehemently opposed the Iraq war and even appealed to the President of the US, George W. Bush to avoid taking such a step.

In this connection, Pope also made an address at the Vatican to the Diplomatic Corps on the 13th of January, 2003 where he clearly stated that war cannot be chosen as just another option of resolving differences and disputes between nations. He wanted to reiterate the fact that war is not something that can be thought of as a solution before trying out all other possible options of reconciliation. It would be relevant to note in this context that Pope John Paul II did not rule out war as an impossible proposition. He was not totally against the concept of war. But, at the same time, he did not advocate or support it either. He was of the firm belief that war should always be the last resort for any problem. He also maintained that war, if fought, should be in compliance with very stringent conditions.

Paul II upheld the view that the United Nations should take the route of diplomacy to solve the concerned international conflict and opting for war means violating the international code of law.

In another such address on the 16th of March, 2003, the Pope further commented on the Iraq scenario. He stressed on the importance of working for peace with responsibility and maintained that all alternatives have still not been considered. All is not lost and there is still room for negotiation and peace. He clearly stated that an understanding is very much possible and discussions should be continued without bothering about whether it has become too late to do so. Unfortunately, two days later, the Iraq war started on the 18th of March, 2003. John Paul ii continued to oppose it.

Thus, you can see that Pope’s endeavor was always to make people realize the utter futility of war. He was quite practical in his approach and that is why came to the conclusion that wars usually fail to resolve the issues for which such a step is taken. This implies that war ultimately prove to be useless. This sums up Pope’s views on the Iraq war.

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