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The United States' war against terrorism and subsequent war against Iraq has provoked much discussion and reflection among Catholics. Although sharply divided, most argued for or against the war on the basis of the Catholic just war tradition. (A minority of pacifists, in addition, have argued that the devastation caused by modern weapons of war have rendered any discussion of a "just war" illegitimate).

The purpose of this website is to provide a resource of information for those engaging in the debate over Iraq from a Catholic perspective. Secondary to this, I hope to provide further resources for those interested in the development of the just war tradition in general.

Pope John Paul II

Prayer and Fasting Are Weapons of Peace. Zenit News Service. March 5, 2003.
State of the World Address to the Diplomatic Corps Jan 13, 2003.
To Fight Terrorism, Go to Its Root Cause. Zenit News Report. Sept. 8, 2002.
Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace 1 January 2000, in which the Holy Father asserted "War is a defeat for humanity."
Peacemaking and the Use of Force: Behind the Pope's Stringent Just-War Teaching, by Drew Christiansen, S.J. AMERICA for May 15, 1999.
Are we really serious when we ask God to deliver us from war? The Catechism and the challenge of Pope John Paul II, by William L. Portier. Communio: International Catholic Review Spring 1996.
Centesimus Annus: On the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum. 1991.05.01.

Note: For more responses from John Paul II on Iraq, please see the Chronicle of Events, featuring's coverage of the Vatican.

Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI]

Relevant Citations:

  • Cardinal Ratzinger, After the 9/11 Attacks Interview with Vatican Radio. November 2001:
    Q: Is there any such thing as a "just war"?

    Cardinal Ratzinger: This is a major issue of concern. In the preparation of the Catechism, there were two problems: the death penalty and just war theory were the most debated. The debate has taken on new urgency given the response of the Americans. Or, another example: Poland, which defended itself against Hitler.

    I'd say that we cannot ignore, in the great Christian tradition and in a world marked by sin, any evil aggression that threatens to destroy not only many values, many people, but the image of humanity itself.

    In this case, defending oneself and others is a duty. Let's say for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible -- even if that means using proportional violence.

    Thus, the just war problem is defined according to these parameters:

    1) Everything must be conscientiously considered, and every alternative explored if there is even just one possibility to save human life and values;

    2) Only the most necessary means of defense should be used and human rights must always be respected; in such a war the enemy must be respected as a human being and all fundamental rights must be respected.

    I think that the Christian tradition on this point has provided answers that must be updated on the basis of new methods of destruction and of new dangers. For example, there may be no way for a population to defend itself from an atomic bomb. So, these must be updated.

    But I'd say that we cannot totally exclude the need, the moral need, to suitably defend people and values against unjust aggressors. …

  • Cardinal Ratzinger Says Unilateral Attack on Iraq Not Justified - Gives Personal Opinion; Favors Decision from U.N. Zenit News Service. Sept. 22, 2002.
    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger does not believe that a unilateral military attack by the United States against Iraq would be morally justifiable, under the current circumstances.

    According to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- who acknowledged that political questions are not within his competence -- "the United Nations is the [institution] that should make the final decision."

    "It is necessary that the community of nations makes the decision, not a particular power," the cardinal said, after receiving the 2002 Trieste Liberal Award. His statements were published Saturday in the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

    "The fact that the United Nations is seeking the way to avoid war, seems to me to demonstrate with enough evidence that the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save," the cardinal said.

    He said that "the U.N. can be criticized" from several points of view, but "it is the instrument created after the war for the coordination -- including moral -- of politics."

    The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.

    "One cannot simply say that the catechism does not legitimize the war," he continued. "But it is true that the catechism has developed a doctrine that, on one hand, does not exclude the fact that there are values and peoples that must be defended in some circumstances; on the other hand, it offers a very precise doctrine on the limits of these possibilities."

  • Interview with May 2, 2003:
    Q: Eminence, a topical question that in a certain sense is inherent to the Catechism: Does the Anglo-American war against Iraq fit the canons of a "just war"?

    Cardinal Ratzinger: The Pope expressed his thought with great clarity, not only as his individual thought but as the thought of a man who is knowledgeable in the highest functions of the Catholic Church. Of course, he did not impose this position as doctrine of the Church but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by faith.

    The Holy Father's judgment is also convincing from the rational point of view: There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a "just war."

    * * *

  • "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion - General Principles" L'espresso, June 2004:
    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

About Cardinal Ratzinger

A New Peace Pope, by Michael Griffin (national coordinator for the Catholic Peace Fellowship). May 2003.
Bush vs. Benedict: Catholic neoconservatives grapple with their church's Just War tradition, by Daniel McCarthy. American Conservative August 29, 2005.

The Vatican Curia

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

Address to U.N. on "Culture of Peace". Address to U.N. General Assembly Nov. 11, 2003.
Vatican Address at U.N. on Complete Disarmament October 10, 2003.
U.S. Hasn't Ruled Out Holy See's View on Iraq - Peace Rather Than Pacifism a Guiding Principle. March 4, 2003.
"Process of Inspections ... Still Remains an Effective Path". Address to U.N. Security Council on Iraq. Feb. 20, 2003.

Archbishop Renato Martino permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

Military Intervention in Iraq Would Be a "crime against peace". Zenit. March 17, 2003.
Hoping Against Hope Interview w/ Traces March 2003.
Vatican Official Criticizes Pressures Exerted in U.N. Security Council . Zenit News Service. March 13, 2003.
Unilateral Attack Would Be "War of Aggression". Interview with Zenit.Org. March 11, 2003.
The Threat of War. Interview w/ John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter Feb. 13, 2003.
"The Search For Peace Is a Duty", Interview w/ Sept. 13, 2001.

Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states.

Unilateral War Would Be a "Crime Against Peace". Zenit. 2/24/03.

Cardinal Etchegaray Papal Envoy to Saddam Hussein

Saddam Has the Will to Avoid the War. Interview w/ Zenit. 2/16/03.

Cardinal Pio Laghi Papal Envoy to George Bush.

"Holy See Maintains That There Are Still Peaceful Avenues". statement made by Cardinal Pio Laghi on Wednesday, at the conclusion of his meeting with President George W. Bush. Zenit News Service. March 3, 2003.

Dan Darling

Author of Regnum Crusis weblog and contributor to Winds of Change.

A Question of Targets - A Reply to Tony and Nick Foresta". Nov. 13, 2003. - On the necessity of attacking Iraq first in order to sufficiently hinder Al Qaeda.
"The Imminent Threat". Sept. 4, 2003. Documents why the Iraqi relationship with al-Qaeda posed an unacceptable threat to international security entirely apart from any WMDs.
Special Report: Abu Musab Zarqawi. June 30, 2003. Analyzes Bush administration's portrait of Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi as a key Al Qaeda figure, and his ties to Iraq.
Robert P. George
Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is also a board member at Institute for Religion & Democracy.
Just War in Iraq. Institute on Religion & Democracy. Jan. 10, 2003.
Justice in War: Just War Theory. Interview w/ Kathryn Jean Lopez, NRO executive editor. NRO [National Review] Oct. 15, 2001.
Stephen F. Hayes
Weekly Standard reporter and author of The Connection : How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America HarperCollins (June 1, 2004).

Did Iraq have a connection with Al Qaeda?

Who Is Ahmed Hikmat Shakir? Weekly Standard June 23, 2004.
Cutting Through the Fog "Did the 9/11 commission staff statement really say that there was no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda?" Los Angeles Timese June 22, 2004.
The Connection "Not so long ago, the ties between Iraq and al Qaeda were conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom was right" Weekly Standard Volume 009, Issue 37. June 7, 2004.
More Connections "Two new members of the Iraqi interim government insist that Saddam and al Qaeda were linked." Weekly Standard Online. June 3, 2004.
The Imminence Myth "What the Bush administration really said about the threat from Iraq." Weekly Standard February 16, 2004.
The Clinton View of Iraq-al Qaeda Ties. Weekly Standard Dec. 29, 2003.
Case Closed. "The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden." Weekly Standard Nov. 24, 2003.

Additional Material:

Iraq & al Qaeda: The 9/11 Commission raises more questions than it answers, by Andrew C. McCarthy, former chief assistant U.S. attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. June 17, 2004.
Deal H. Hudson
Deal H. Hudson is publisher and editor of CRISIS Magazine.

War Drums. Crisis. Oct. 10, 2002.
Making Our Own Decisions. Crisis. March 1, 2003.
James Turner Johnson
Professor of Religion and Associate Member of the Graduate Department of Political Science at Rutgers -- The State University of New Jersey, where he has been on the faculty since 1969. His research and teaching have focused principally on the historical development and application of moral traditions related to war, peace, and the practice of statecraft. He is author of several books on the historical development and contemporary use of the just war tradition, including Just War Tradition and the Restraint of War: An Ethical Inquiry (1981), Morality and Contemporary Warfare (1999), and, most recently, The War to Oust Saddam Hussein : The Context, The Debate, The War and the Future (2005).
Just War, As It Was and Is. First Things 149 (January 2005): 14-24.
Just War & Jihad: Two Views of War. A Conversation with Johnson and Christopher Hitchens. Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003. Ethics & Public Policy Center.
Using Military Force Against the Saddam Hussein Regime: the Moral Issues, by James Turner Johnson. December 4, 2002. Essay is based on a lecture delivered to members and guests of the Foreign Policy Research Institute on December 4, 2002.
Jihad & Just War. First Things 124 (June/July 2002): 12-14.
Terrorism and "just war". Symposium w/ Martin L. Cook, Glen Stassen & Jean Bethke Elshtain. Christian Century, Nov 14, 2001.
"Can Force be Used Justly? Questions of Retributive and Restorative Justice". 2001 Kuyper Lecture took place at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, on November 1, 2001.
In Response to Terror First Things 90 (February 1999): 11-13.
Just Cause Revisited. September 1, 1998.
The Broken Tradition - Just War Doctrine The National Interest, Fall, 1996.
Sandro Magister
News analysis and documents from the Italian periodical L'espresso.
Iraq: The Church Goes on a Mission of Peace. L'espresso no. 49, November 28- December 4, 2003.
A Reminder for the Vatican: There's No Way Out of Alliance with America. Chiesa. October 27, 2003.
With the Pope or with Bush? Studi Cattolici Stands with Both. Chiesa. July 29, 2003.
The Vatican Against America: A War of Words. Chiesa. June 9, 2003.
Poland's Catholics Depart for Iraq. With the United States and the Pope Chiesa. May 12, 2003.
"War Diary, January-April, 2003." Author: Pietro De Marco. Chiesa. April 18, 2003.
War Report: The Paper Dragons of the Pacifist Theologians. Chiesa. March 31, 2003.
War in the Gulf: What the Pope Really Said. Chiesa. March 20, 2003.
The Interventionist Church. Archbishop Migliore's Peace Offensive Chiesa. March 6, 2003.
L'Osservatore Romano and Avvenire: The Two Discordant Voices of the Church of Rome. Feb. 26, 2003.
From Assisi to Baghdad. If This is the Way to Make Peace. Chiesa. February 17, 2003.
Iraq: The Purely Political Reasons for the Church's "No" to War. January 30, 2003.
Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Nicholson: "The Points of Disagreement between Bush and the Pope" January 27, 2003.
The Pope's Jesuit Allies Duel with Bush's Strategists over Preventive War January 21, 2003.
The Church and Iraq. How to Get Rid of Saddam Hussein without Making War on Him. January 7, 2003.
Saddam Hussein massacres Shiite Muslims, and the Vatican looks away. Nov. 27, 2002.
Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus
Richard John Neuhaus is editor in chief of First Things.
Iraq and the Moral Judgement, by Richard J. Neuhaus. First Things 156 (October 2005).
Internationalisms. First Things 148 (December 2004): 64-68.
On the Iraqi Crisis Interview w/ Zenit.Org. March 10, 2003.
Just War Truths and Fallacies. Excerpt from monthly column "The Public Square", First Things 120 February 2002): 77-96.
The Sounds of Religion In Time of War, Excerpt from monthly column "The Public Square", First Things 133 (May 2003): 76-92.
Michael Novak
Michael Novak is the winner of the 1994 Templeton Prize for progress in religion and the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
Martino? There he goes again National Review Online. Dec. 7, 2003.
Game Plan Iraq. National Review Online. Oct. 20, 2003.
Context: The Big Picture on American Deaths in Iraq. National Review Online. August 28, 2003.
Errors of Mass Destruction. National Review Online. June 12, 2003.

"Conversations with an European Friend" - A series initially published in the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore

Civilian Casualties & Turmoil: Lay responsibility regarding Iraq. Contributing editorial for the National Review Online. Feb. 18, 2003.
"Asymmetrical Warfare" & Just War: A moral obligation. Contributing editorial for the National Review Online. Feb. 10, 2003. Lecture on just-war doctrine and Iraq to a public audience in Vatican City on the evening of February 10, 2003

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.
"The One War, The Real War", Ignatius Insight July 8, 2005.
Wars Without Violence Ignatius Insight June 26, 2005.
When War Must Be The Answer, Policy Review No. 128.
The Pious & the War: Iraq and justice.. National Review Online. Feb. 13, 2003.
The War: To the "Defeated" Go The Spoils. Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports []. April 13, 2003.
War-Time Clarifications: Who Is Our Enemy?. Traditional Catholic Reflections. 2001.
Assessing What is At Issue in This War. Traditional Catholic Reflections. 2001.
On the Justice and Prudence of This War, by James V. Schall, S.J. The Catholic University Law Review, 51 (Fall, 2001), 1-13.
Russel Shaw
Shaw is a freelance columnist from Washington, D.C.

* * *
Was it right to go to war if there were no WMDs?. Our Sunday Visitor February 15, 2004.
A Spectrum of Opinion: Catholics and the War in Iraq, by Russell Shaw. February 1, 2004. [PDF Format]
A War Based on "What If?". Arlington Catholic Herald, October 30, 2003.
Iraq, Weigel and the Pope. Catholic Exchange. March 31, 2003.
On Iraq, Just War and Prudential Judgments Zenit Interview. March 13, 2003.
When war is -- and isn't -- "just". Our Sunday Visitor October 27, 2002.
George Weigel
George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America's leading public intellectuals.

From 1989 through June 1996, Weigel was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and inter-religious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues. From June 1996, as a Senior Fellow of the Center, Weigel prepared a major study of the life, thought, and action of Pope John Paul II. Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II was published to international acclaim in the Fall of 1999.

Weigel has been awarded ten honorary doctorates, the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal by the Republic of Poland. He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations dedicated to human rights and the cause of religious freedom and is a member of the editorial board of First Things.

Just War, Iraq Wars First Things April 2007.
Iraq: Then and Now First Things April 2006.
Who Wants War?: An Exchange Exchange with Paul J. Griffiths. First Things 152 (April 2005): 10-12.
"The War Against Terrorism", Remarks by George Weigel and Bill Kristol. October 13, 2004. Event was part of EPPC's "American Culture and Democracy" lecture series. [audiorecording, .mp3 format].
Abu Ghraib and Just War in Iraq. "The Catholic Difference" July 13, 2004.
Standing up to be counted Interview with the Tablet June 26, 2004.
Iraq and just war, one more time. "The Catholic Difference" June 9, 2004.
Weigel on Just War Theory: EPPC Scholar Expounds on Role of U.N., and More. Interview w. Delia Gallagher. Zenit News Service. May 27, 2004.
World Order: What Catholics Forgot. First Things 143 (May 2004): 31-38. Iraq and just war, revisited. "The Catholic Difference" April 21, 2004.
War & Statecraft: An Exchange. Exchange w/ Rowan Williams. First Things 141 (March 2004): 14-22.
The Force of Law, the Law of Force."The Catholic Difference". April 30, 2003.
No just war possible?."The Catholic Difference". April 2, 2003.
The Just War Case for the War."The Catholic Difference". March 31, 2003.
'Dissent' from church teaching? Great bosh!. Tidings March 21, 2003.
Moral Clarity in Time of War. First Things Dec. 2002. Interview, w/ Bob Abernethy. "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly", PBS. January 10, 2003.
The Peace That Is Possible. "The Catholic Difference". January 8, 2003.
What is the Just War Tradition for?."The Catholic Difference". Dec. 4, 2002.
Just War and Pre-Emption: Three Questions."The Catholic Difference". October 2, 2002.
On Pre-emption, Just War and the Defense of World Order. Interview w/ Zenit.Org. Sept. 22, 2002.
Just War: An Exchange. Debate with Paul J. Griffiths. First Things 122 (April 2002): 31-36. (Correspondence, First Things August/September 2002).
Reality of Terrorism Calls for a Fresh Look at Just War Tradition. The Catholic Difference Sept. 20, 2001.

Selected articles by George Weigel on politics, religion and culture.

Mark and Louise Zwick / Houston Catholic Worker
Just War and Pacifism: A "Pacifist" Perspective in Seven Points by Michael J. Baxter, CSC. Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, May-June 2004.
Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconservative Iraq Just War Theories Rejected. Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, July-August 2003.

Additional Readings on Just War, Iraq, and the "War on Terrorism":



Christian Just War Theory and Moral Laxism: A Chronically Misleading Episcopal Witness, by (Rev.) Emmanuel Charles McCarthy. Center for Christian Nonviolence. May 2006. [.pdf format]
An Interview With Michael Baxter on the Iraq War, Catholic Neocons, Mr. Bush and Iran May 17, 2006.
U.S. Catholic Bishops' Statement on Iraq full text of Bishop Thomas Wenski's statement "Toward a Responsible Transition in Iraq," January 12, 2006.


Second Thoughts on Moral Culpability, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. December 6, 2005.
Just War?, by Craig White. April 7, 2005.
Bush v. Benedict, by Daniel McCarthy. The American Conservative August 29, 2005.


"One Nation Under God" - Richard J. Neuhaus in Time of War, by Michael J. Baxter, University of Notre Dame. Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXV, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 2005.
The War in Iraq: How Catholic conservatives got it wrong, by Peter Dula. Commonweal December 3, 2004 / Volume CXXXI, Number 21. [Full Text]
What Is a Just War?, by Garry Wills. New York Review of Books Volume 51, Number 18· November 18, 2004.
  • "Arguing About War", By Jean Bethke Elshtain, Reply by Garry Wills. New York Review of Books Volume 51, Number 20· December 16, 2004.
A Year After Iraq: Catholic Just War Doctrine, by Fr. Alfonso Aquilar, LC. National Catholic Register March 28, 2004.
Preemptive War: What would Aquinas say?, by Gregory M. Reichberg. Commonweal Magazine January 30, 2004.


What the War Revealed, by David Quinn. Crisis October 2003.
At Odds with the Pope: Legitimate Authority and Just Wars, by William T. Cavanaugh is associate professor of theology at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. [First published in Commonweal May 23, 2003].
The Use and Abuse of Just-War Theory, by Michael M. Uhlmann. The Claremont Institute, June 4, 2003.
Just war theory, by Rodrigue Tremblay. Humanist, May-June, 2003.
Preemptive war: a prelude to global peril?, by Charles W. Kegley, Jr. USA Today, May, 2003.
Vatican: Both Sides to Blame for Failure to Disarm America Vol. 188, No. 12. April 7, 2003.
War No More? - How much of a pacifist is the Pope?, by William McGurn. Wall Street Journal March 28, 2003.
Has the Holy Father Condemned the U.S. Action [in Iraq]?, by Carl Olson. Envoy Encore March 26, 2003.
The Vatican: When There Is No Peace. National Review, March 10, 2003.
Peace: How to Achieve It?, by Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete. Traces March 2003.
Will war come?, Commonweal, Feb. 14, 2003.
Church of the Peacenicks, by Rod Dreher. NRO [National Review Online]. Feb. 7, 2003.
Whither the ‘Just War’? by Drew Christiansen. America Vol. 188 No. 10. March 24, 2003.
Pre-emptive Strike: a Two-Edged Sword. Archbishop George Pell. The Australian Feb. 4, 2003.


Just and unjust wars: a diplomat's perspective, by Richard Holbrooke. Social Research, Winter, 2002.
The triumph of just war theory (and the dangers of success), by Michael Walzer. Social Research, Winter, 2002.
Looking for Justice: Applying the just-war tradition, by John F. Cullinan. NRO Online. Dec. 19, 2002.
An Ethical Analysis of War Against Iraq, by Gerard F. Powers. Director, Office of International Justice and Peace United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Written in conjunction with a symposium entitled, "Would An Invasion of Iraq be a Just War?" The symposium, held on December 17, 2002, in Washington, D.C., was sponsored by the Religion and Peacemaking Initiative of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
The Bishops & Iraq: where was the coverage?, by Paul Moses. Commonweal, Nov 22, 2002.
War and the Eclipse of Moral Reasoning, by Dr. Philip Blosser. Presented by Dr. Blosser at the Tenth Annual Aquinas/Luther Conference held October 24-26, 2002 at Lenoir-Rhyne College.
Preemption, aggression and Catholic teaching: Iraq war highlights problems of seeking justice through force, by Joe Feuerherd. National Catholic Reporter, Oct 25, 2002.
On the War Path. Commonweal Oct. 11, 2002.
A Just War?, by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Boston Globe, Oct 6, 2002.
20 reasons to overthrow Saddam: the media say the Bush team hasn't made its case for invading Iraq. But statements by Dick Cheney make clear why the U.S. will invade Iraq and finish off Saddam, by J. Michael Walker. Insight on the News, Sept 30, 2002.
Iraq & just-war thinking: the presumption against the use of force, by George A. Lopez. Commonweal, Sept 27, 2002.
Indefensible war, by Miroslav Volf. Christian Century September 25, 2002.
Perils of Preemptive War: Why America's place in the world will shift -- for the worse -- if we attack Iraq, by William Galston. The American Prospect Volume 13, Issue 17.  September 23, 2002.
Listening to Pacifists, by Darrell Cole. First Things 125 (August/September 2002): 22-25.
Just war divide: one tradition, two views, by David P. Gushee. Christian Century, August 14, 2002.
Iraq: don't go there, by George Hunsinger. Christian Century, August 14, 2002.
"Hawks, Doves, and Pope John Paul II, By Father Drew Christiansen, S.J. America, August 12, 2002.
Bush's "first strike" threat: Can it be justified?, by William Bole. Our Sunday Visitor June 23, 2002.
Just-War Theory, Catholic Morality, And The Response To International Terrorism, a talk by Mark S. Latkovic. The Catholic Faith May/June 2002.
Some Reflections On The Present War, by Martin K. Barrack. The Catholic Faith May/June 2002.


Terrorism & Just War, by Martin L. Cook, Glen Stassen, Jean Bethke Elshtain, James Turner Johnson. Christian Century Nov. 14, 2001.
Osama bin Laden and the Just Conduct of War, by John Kelsay. America October 2001.



War: Beyond the hawks and the doves "In the wake of Kosovo, Catholic leaders ponder whether traditional moral approaches to warfare still make sense," by William Bole. Our Sunday Visitor July 4, 1999.

Additional Readings - On the Catholic Just War tradition in general:

The Paradox of War and Pacifism, by Mark T. Clark. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 47 (December 1995): 220-232.
Theological and Moral Perspectives on Today's Challenge of Peace. Speaking notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin. Washington, Nov. 10, 2003.
What the Just War Tradition has to offer today, by Bruce Duncan. CSsR. Compass: Review of Topical Theology. Vol. 38, Winter 2003.
Good Wars, by Darrel Cole. First Things 116 (October 2001): 27-31.
Just War Tradition: Is It Credible?, by John Howard Yoder. The Christian Century, March 13, 1991.
Catholic Answers Guide to Just War Doctrine
The Church's Just War Theory Part I & Part II, by Fr. William Saunders. reprinted with permission from Arlington Catholic Herald.
"The Just War" and Is It Always Sinful to Wage War? excerpt from St. Thomas Aquinas. The Summa Theologica.
Rising Up From Flanders Fields, by Father Raymond J. de Souza. National Catholic Register April 2003.
Conditions of a Just War, by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Chapter 4 of Bishop's Sheen's book, A Declaration of Dependence.
Just War Theory, by Alex Moseley, Ph.D. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Just War Tradition: Is It Credible?, by John Howard Yoder. Christian Century March 13, 1991, pps. 295-298.

Interviews & Symposiums

Cardinal Stafford on War and the Church's Thinking, by Delia Gallagher. Zenit interview May 22, 2004. Critiques Positions by Some Catholic Scholars (George Weigel and James Turner Johnson).
Nuncio in Iraq Assesses Situation After One Year of War. Zenit interview With Archbishop Fernando Filoni. March 21, 2004.
To Exhaust All Options to War "Is Prudent, Just and Necessary". Zenit Interview with Bishop del Hoyo López. March 10, 2003.
Moral Criteria for Struggle Against Terrorism. Interview with Professor at John Paul II Institute in Spain. March 3, 2003.
How to Sustain a Lasting Peace, Interview w/ Philosopher Jesús Villagrasa. February 27, 2003.
War on the Horizon: Is It Just?. Conversation between Christopher Hitchens, William Galston, and George Weigel. Posted May 30, 2003. Ethics & Public Policy Center. [Unedited Transcript]. Posted Feb. 8, 2003. Ethics & Public Policy Center.
The Points of Disagreement between Bush and the Pope. Interview with Jim Nicholson, Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See. L'espresso no. 5, January 23-30, 2003.
Iraq and Just War: A Symposium. Monday, September 30, 2002. Sponsored by The Institute for American Values, the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life.
Military Intervention in Iraq and International Law. Zenit Interview With Ronald Rychlak, Vatican Delegate to International Court. March 30, 2003.
War in Iraq: Is It Just?. Conversation between Christopher Hitchens, William Galston, and George Weigel. Posted May 30, 2003. Ethics & Public Policy Center.
Cardinal McCarrick on the War in Iraq. Interview with March 25, 2003.
Symposium: Just War Tradition and the New War on Terrorism. Friday, October 5, 2001. Sponsored by the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life.
Just War and Counterterrorism: Views from the Catholic Church. Edited transcript of discussion held on Sept. 24, 2001, at the Institute of World Politics on the Catholic just war tradition in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11. The presenters were former chief of Naval Intelligence Admiral P. Michael Ratliff (USN-Ret.), Dr. Andrew Bacevich from the Department of International Relations at Boston University, the Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J. of Woodstock Theological Seminary, Gerald Powers from the Office of Social Development and World Peace at the U.S. Catholic Conference, George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Dr. Keith Pavlischek of the Center for Public Justice.

Formal Documents


Bishop Wilton D. Gregory (USCCB) Statement on War with Iraq. March 20, 2003.
Iraq Statement from Bishops of England and Wales. March 18, 2003.
Irish Catholic Bishops' Statement on Iraq. March 14, 2003.
Canadian Bishops' Statement on Iraq Crisis January 23, 2003.
German Bishops' Statement on Iraq Conflict. January 22, 2003.
Bishop Wilton D. Gregory (USCCB) Letter to U.S. President Bush on Iraq, Sept. 18, 2002

Relevant documents


Pre-emption, Iraq, and Just War: A Statement of Principles, by David Blankenhorn, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Francis Fukuyama, William A. Galston, John Kelsay, Robert Putnam, Theda Skocpol, Max L. Stackhouse, and Paul C. Vitz. Institute for American Values. November 14, 2002.
In Time of War, by the editors of First Things.
What We're Fighting for: A Letter from America. An open letter in defense of the U.S. war on terrorism has been signed by 60 prominent American intellectuals and published by the Institute for American Values. The letter analyzes "just war" principles and discusses the universal values at stake in the conflict. Institute for American Values, Feb. 2002.

Additional Resources: