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April 2005 Archives

April 3, 2005

Pope John Paul II

April 9, 2005

Pope John Paul II on Iraq

Just so I don’t forget… as described here back in March, 2003:

President Bush, fresh from making plans for war against Iraq, met for 40 minutes Wednesday with Cardinal Pio Laghi, an emissary from the Vatican who made a last appeal for peace.

A friend of the president’s father and the Vatican’s first ambassador to Washington, Laghi brought to the White House the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church on Ash Wednesday. In Rome, meanwhile, Pope John Paul II called on the world to fast for peace.

Laghi, 80 years old and retired from the Vatican, said after his meeting with Bush that a war would be “illegal and unjust,” but stopped short of calling it immoral. In a news conference at the National Press Club, he also said the United States had an obligation to seek the blessings of the United Nations.

That’s before the invasion.

That envoy, by the way, referred to the war as “immoral”, but the Pope did not, at least as indicated by this Catholic News article. Or at least, it’s a little fuzzy what exactly the pope said:

Laghi came bearing the popeĀ“s message: A war would be a “defeat for humanity” and would be neither morally nor legally justified.

In a letter to Bush, the pope stood by his view that a pre-emptive strike on Iraq is immoral “unless it gets backed” by the United Nations.

Note that this was not reported in much more mainstream. Media Matters quotes the Dallas Morning News as saying:

One of the strongest anti-war voices belongs to the pope. He sent an envoy to visit with Mr. Bush this month with a letter that called the war ‘immoral, illegal, unjust.’

But they don’t have a link to the story.

April 17, 2005

Primacy of Conscience

I was recently pointed to this article by Rich (written by a Jesuit, but let’s not get into the “my authority can kick your authority’s ass” bit). It’s a bit dense, but not as dense as most writing on such issues. It makes some good points, and some that I don’t know that I agree with yet. My favorite part, I think, is near the end:

Where truth is in dispute, open conversation is needed. Truth requires freedom both to be recognised and to be credible. It is as counter-productive to withdraw topics like women’s ordination and contraception from public conversation as it was for communist regimes to ban advocacy of political systems different from their own. In any conversation where only one side may be argued, we instinctively assume that those who publicly defend the official position are motivated by ideology and not by an interest in truth. The outlawed position is then assumed to be true, and wins by default.

The argument must be eternal until all sides unquestioningly come to the same conclusion. Which is something I’ve thought about, and agreed with.

But… one wonders how this then compares to other taboo subjects, like arguments about racial equality—just because someone holds an opposing point, does that mean that the Truth is not apparent? Must one continue to hold that debate as long as there are people who insist on the “natural” inferiority of some races?

I’m thinking yes. One must debate, perhaps for the betterment of mankind, even if you feel yourself assured of the truth.

It’s almost an evolutionary argument, though—making the truth, determined over the long run and assuming that people cannot be convinced one way or another by the debate, merely a function of which position encourages sufficient amount of offspring. In a way, then, with those assumptions, “truth” must necessarily contain the “truth” of outbreeding your opponents, perhaps as an artifact of the search.

About April 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Kyle in April 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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