Catholic Church continues stubborn opposition to sin.

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Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 10:58 AM:

The Catholic Church, despite over two thousand years of failure in its quest to prevent sin, announced that it will continue to oppose it. This decision comes despite recently polling that shows that 100% of Catholics have sinned at some time in their lives.

The decision puts the Catholic Church at odds with its own tenets, which acknowledge that ' all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God'. Many have suggested that God should not take such a hard-line stance, and the Church should put pressure on him to grow more attuned to the desires of the people.

The decision is seen as a financial one by observers. "The Church makes a lot of money on sin" said one parishioner, speaking on condition of anonymity, "they know that people like to sin, but they know they can shame them into donating as long as they tell them it's wrong. If they Church ever lightens up on sin, they stand to lose a lot of business."

Outsiders think the position is driving business away from the Church. "I think more people would go to Church if it weren't for the hard line position on sin," said a local atheist. "I mean, I like the music and I hear they give away free wine, but all that God and sin stuff just turns me off."

A spokesman for the Church denied that it was about money, claiming opposition to sin is central to the foundation of the Church. "Those seeking salvation understand they must seek forgiveness from their sins," he said. "The Church will continue to offer guidance and God's forgiveness to the repentant while encouraging people to turn away from sinfulness."

Nor will the Church consider petitioning God to soften his stance on sin. "God doesn't work that way," said the spokesman. "He provides direction for our lives, not the other way around."

Replies

  • "...opposition to sin is central to the foundation of the Church."

    I agree and see no reason for any Church to change their position along that line.

    There are of course a tremendous range of definitions of sin, even within a given Church. And there are changes in what constitutes sin over time. It is my understanding that it had been a sin to eat meat on Friday, but no longer is. There are likely more that I am unaware of.

    There are also things that used to be non-sins, that now are. Burning witches at a stake (as in Joan of Arc) was condoned by the Church at the time, but would probably be consudered a sin today.

    I would not be too hard on the Church, things do change over time.

    -- Posted by commonsensematters on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:35 AM
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    "There are of course a tremendous range of definitions of sin, even within a given Church. And there are changes in what constitutes sin over time. It is my understanding that it had been a sin to eat meat on Friday, but no longer is. There are likely more that I am unaware of."

    But it is not the place of the government to dictate what is and what is not a sin, or what the Church can and what the Church cannot proscribe as sinful.

    The prohibition on the eating of meat was a Church doctrine. Fasting is an act of penance for sin. Violating the obligation to fast and abstain is not sinful in its own regard, so much as a failure to atone for sinfulness.

    St. Joan of Arc was not 'burned at the stake as a witch'. She was burned at the stake for Heresy, by the pro-English Bishop not for witchcraft. The Bishop who condemned her and put her to death did not have jurisdiction for such a trial under Eccleastical law. She was proclaimed innocent by Pope Callixtus III some twenty-five years after her death.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:49 AM
  • "...innocent by Pope Callixtus III some twenty-five years after her death."

    A bit late, wouldn't you say?

    -- Posted by commonsensematters on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 12:43 PM
  • "...innocent by Pope Callixtus III some twenty-five years after her death."

    A bit late, wouldn't you say?

    -- Posted by commonsensematters on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 12:43 PM
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    "A bit late, wouldn't you say?"

    No, not on his part. He became Pope in 1455, twenty-four years after her death. Thus, he was in no position to intervene.

    The war in which she was involved continued for twenty-two years after her death. She could have been freed from prison had the French King, whom she helped place on the throne, ransomed her from the Burgundians. He did not, and the English, instead, purchased her and had her tried for Heresy.

    The Bishop at Rouen, then under English rule, owed his office to the English, and thus misused his authority to convict her for purely political reasons.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 1:03 PM
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    "A bit late, wouldn't you say?"

    That's a funny way of saying "I was wrong, she wasn't burned for witchcraft", but I'll accept it as such...

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 1:04 PM
  • Common, I think you and I both will have to do a lot of brushing up to out do Shapley when it comes to history of the subject brought up. :)

    -- Posted by Old John on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:10 PM
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    D&G

    You know nothing of what you are talking about. No group of humans are perfect.... none, get it. But sacrifices, give us a break.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:12 PM
  • Wheel, I commend you on your ability to decipher. I was going to comment on what D&G wrote but couldn't quite comprehend. I think it was clargy that threw me the curve. :)

    -- Posted by Old John on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:21 PM
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    Old John,

    As I would surely think everyone knows, there have been some problems with a few rogue priests, but the Catholic Church is not alone in that problem. They have a bishop right now with a s*** load of problems because of not properly reporting one of those priests. But, I believe as in most organizations the good outweighs the bad considerably. Percentages and dates & places are not my strong suite though.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 11:32 PM
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    Those 'sacurfices' threw me for a loop, too. I generally just overlook the good doctor's comments.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 7:01 AM
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    I think where people get into trouble is when they worship people. I had a brother-in-law that complained about a local pastor and didn't like the way he talked in his sermons. He was thinking of switching churches.

    I asked him "Why do you worship people?" and he responded "What do you mean?". I told him his faith and beliefs should be about a God and not a pastor. That I wouldn't abandon my faith over a pastor who is human and very capable of making mistakes or sinning. He had a whole new perspective after that and quit worrying about the pastor and focused on his beliefs.

    Priests, pastors, bishops, preachers are all human. They sin - lie, adultery, child abuse, you-name-it - because of their human nature. Too many pastors are worshipped. Worship your God (or no God if you're atheist) - don't worship people. We've seen enough of that in the last 4 years.

    -- Posted by Dug on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 8:23 AM
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    -- Posted by BCStoned on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 8:52 AM

    Do you think that this is inevitable? That it's human nature and cyclical or is this ever avoidable?

    I posted the other day about one of my favorite books - "Animal Farm". Orwell thought that the path to totalitarianism was human nature and inevitable.

    Can this be stopped?

    -- Posted by Dug on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 8:56 AM
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    One thing I like about the Catholic Church is the uniformity of the Mass. I can attend Mass in Cape Girardeau, Illinois, New York, Ireland, or Italy and know that the Mass will be the same, right down to the Bible readings. The Priest officiates the Mass, but does not decide the course of it. They have leeway with the Homily (sermon), but the structure of the Mass is set by the Church Calendar.

    Many faiths are centered around the preacher. As the George Burns/God character in the old film 'Oh, God!' says (and I'm paraphrasing) "He makes a living spreading my Word, except that he ran out of my Words a long time ago."

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:01 AM
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    .Rick,

    Actually, Catholics and Protestants are usually in agreement on the rules of behaviour, but disagree on the manner of worship. There are also disagreements on the nature of the final destination.

    If we think of it as a road trip, we are in agreement on the destination and how to get there, but we disagree on which vehicle to take, who gets to set where in the vehicle, and on what we'll do when we get where we're going.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:18 AM
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    As I sat and listened Sunday on the lesson of giving, where a humble woman of very modest means gave a few small coins from what it took for her to eat and live on, and who was ultimately praised for being more giving than the rich folks who gave large gifts from their excess, I found myself thinking. Why then do most of the pastors that I am aware of both Catholic and Protestant, and most charities as well, seem to fawn over the wealthy people in their churches and organizations, hoping for large donations?

    Kind of reminds me of the politicians in the last election.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:32 AM
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    -- Posted by BCStoned on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:21 AM

    There will always be wars and rumors of wars. Not plagerizing, I think we all know where that comes from.

    And what really is the most fought over 'rock pile' on this planet? I believe it is safe to say it is what many refer to as "The Holy Land".

    Only place I have ever been where you could visit two different tombs or burial places that were absolutely without question for the same man. And he only used them for less than three full days we are told.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:43 AM
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    .Rick,

    The mess in Northern Ireland was political, not religious. It had to do with the separation of Chuch and State, purely and simply.

    Ireland is traditionally a Catholic nation. By falling under the rule of the United Kingdom, the national religion would have been protestant, as they fall under the rule of the national church, the Church of England (or, more technically, the Church of Ireland, the Irish Anglican Community).

    The Catholics of Northern Ireland preferred to retain their national identity. As it now stands, Ireland is a divided Island, with the counties to the North a part of the United Kingdom and the bulk of the island retaining its national identity, and its Catholic heritage, as the Republic of Ireland.

    It was not a war over religion, but a war over religious freedom.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:45 AM
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    Tibet and China have disagreed for centuries. There, again, it is over national identity.

    Tibet is traditionally under the rule of the Dali Lama. China believes Tibet to be a part of China. To be sure, Tibet has only enjoyed any measure of autonomy when China's focus was necessarily turned to its own troubles or fighting invaders. When peace, or what passes for peace, is restored to China, it again turns its attention to maintaining its borders, including the overseeing of regions that regard themselves as being independent (Formosa, Manchuria, Tibet, etc.,).

    In that regard, they are little different from the Roman Empire of old.

    The Dali Lama is exiled, not becuase of his religion, but because of his teaching of the autonomy of Tibet.

    China is officially atheistic, and they did expell most religions from the nation during the revolution. This was more a desire to rid themselves of Western influence than of religious beliefs. The vast majority of Chinese remain Buddhist.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:53 AM
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    "War over Religion and war over religous freedom."

    Perhaps it would make more sense to simply say 'war over freedom'.

    Remember that the early American settlers came here seeking religious freedom from the very nation that the Northern Irish Catholics were opposing.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:56 AM
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    "I do not understand Christianity ."

    You don't have to. It's not about Christianity, it's about humanity. The Human soul yearns to be free.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:57 AM
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    Rick,

    Just a curiousity, but much like Christian peoples of today, didn't native Amereican tribes fight amongst themselves over territory, hunting rights and possessions of other tribes?

    That was always the way I read history... not that I trust the writers of history all that much.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:10 AM
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    Good Grief where did the extra "e" come from in American?

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:16 AM
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    My life was ruined when I was a young Catholic. I was taught peaceful co-existence with others was a worthy goal. Today, the sanctity of life never gets beyond the womb. -- Posted by BCStoned on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:21 AM

    That thought process kind of goes to my previous point. I, too, was taught that peaceful coexistence with others is a worthy goal.

    Do you believe that the Catholic faith has changed and that it embraces war?

    Or do you believe some members (people) of the Catholic church embrace war? Are you conflicted with the Catholic faith itself or the humans that are in church?

    -- Posted by Dug on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:00 AM
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    "Do you believe that the Catholic faith has changed and that it embraces war?"

    Changed? The History of Man is a History of War. The Bible is full of accounts of War.

    I cannot recall reading of a time when man, whether Christian or not, was not at war in some part of the World.

    "In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence. A kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die and how many are killed; but, from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A Power, a violence, at once hidden and palpable. . . has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. . . And who [in this general carnage] exterminates him who will exterminate all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man. . . The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death."

    Joseph de Maistre - (Joseph de Maistre

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:07 AM
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    The History of Man is a History of War. The Bible is full of accounts of War. -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:07 AM

    So you believe that today's Catholic faith that we were brought up with embraces war? I'm just curious what people think - Catholics and non-Catholics. Or any Christians.

    I agree - there are 100s of wars between *people* of "faith". Does the faith that you/I were taught embrace it?

    I know the Catholic faith is against the death penalty. I support it. Does that reflect on the faith or me personally? I think it reflects on me, not the faith.

    -- Posted by Dug on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:14 AM
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    "Does the faith that you/I were taught embrace it?"

    The Faith I was brought up in glorified the sacrifices of those who died in just wars, just as society itself does. The war against Fascism and the War against Communism were regarded as just wars in the Faith of my upbringing.

    The War against Terrorism should be no less just.

    "Does that reflect on the faith or me personally?"

    I believe it reflects upon us, personally. I also favour the death penalty, and that puts me at odds with the teachings of the Church. However, unlike those who favour contraception, I do not demand that the Church alter its position becuase I disagree with them. Nor would I demand they change it if a majority of Catholics favour it. (I'm not sure what percentage statistics claim do so). Rather, I believe it is up to me to challenge myself to understand why my view is at odds with the Faith.

    I will probably be called upon to answer for that, in the end. I have not yet formulated an answer to it. Perhaps a few eons in Purgatory will permit me to formulate an appropriate defense for my position, if time does not alter my view.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:36 AM
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    "Last night on one of the channels, they showed newsreels on the Vietnam War. The only war that allowed open coverage. Is this what the Catholics in the US support?"

    President Kennedy instigated a coup against the Catholic leader of South Vietnam which resulted in his death. I don't think the Catholic Church supported that, even though Mr. Kennedy himself was also Catholic.

    Many Catholics were involved in the Anti-War movement.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:45 AM
  • -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:45 AM
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    "The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:"

    "The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time . . ."

    "The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain."

    "All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective."

    "There must be serious prospects of success."

    "The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition."

    "The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good."

    "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."

    "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."

    "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. 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."

    "...insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ". The danger of war will never be completely removed prior to the Second Coming.

    "Christ's followers must be willing to meet this challenge. They must be willing to wage war when it is just and they must be willing to wage it in a just manner.

    "Simultaneously, they must work to establish a just and peaceful order among the nations. In so doing they seek to fulfill the words of the prophet, according to which the nations "shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more"

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:52 AM
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    BS and Shapley - interesting view points. Thanks.

    I guess my summation is that the beliefs of the Catholic faith are based on the teachings of Jesus.

    The warriors, sinners (people, priests, bishops, etc) are in conflict with the faith their entire lives. I have "kept the faith" despite the fact that many - myself included - are not perfect.

    -- Posted by Dug on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:56 AM
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    "I place man above the state."

    I'm not sure what that means. Each man is a citizen of the state in which he is born or naturalized. As such, each man has a duty towards it.

    In some nations, military service is mandatory, in ours, it is not. Regardless, when a person in uniform is called upon to go to just war, he has a responsibility to do his duty. If the war is unjust, Christian men are obligated to stand up against it, and risk jail or even death in defense of justice. There is nothing in the document that refutes that.

    We had Catholic and Protestant chaplains on board the Ship when I was in the Navy. Many visited them to question their moral obligation both in peace-time and in war. The Catholic Church provided a manual for warriors which was given to those who asked. It basically stated what the article said, as best I recall.

    We generally regard World War II as a just war. It was thought that Axis Powers were proposing a damage to humanity that would heavily outweigh the devestation of the war to prevent it.

    At the same time, the devestation wrought by the atomic bombs has called the moral nature of modern warfare into question. Can a just war be fought, given the potential for destruction it now carries? Does the threat of civilian devestation due to Chemical, Biological, or Nuclear weapons released by either side make going to war, even in defense, morally indefensible? Some say it is so. Others, not. Ultimately, as they say, it is up to the leaders of nations to determine the appropriateness of war. That is why we need to elect just men to office, and to pray for their guidance always.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 12:18 PM
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    BC

    Lest you think I was justifying war in the comment that there will always be wars and rumors of war. If I am correct that quote comes from the bible, and I believe that as imperfect as man is, the statement is true.

    As much as we should all desire a world at peace, I am more of a realist and I do not see it happening. We could argue just and unjust wars from here to eternity and not all would agree. I believe there are good people that want nothing but peace and I believe there are greedy people out there who are always going to want what someone else has. We will be plagued with war until this planet or man upon it ceases to exist.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 2:55 PM
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    Matthew 24:6

    "And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:03 PM
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    "SH, are you sure that the Just War theory wasn't written by a former Bonito Mussolini secretary?"

    Eh? From the link:

    "The first condition indicates that there must be an aggressor who is harming the nation or the community of nations. One cannot go to war simply to expand one's sphere of influence, conquer new territory, subjugate peoples, or obtain wealth. One only can go to war to counter aggression."

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:13 PM
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    "One entire Nation against another really did not happen."

    I can't speak for mainland America, but Hawaii did, in fact, have 'nation against nation' warfare. King Kamehameha the Great united the Islands under one rule after bloody battles that were waged amongst the warring chiefs of the various kingdoms on the islands.

    The same was true of Polynesia and other Pacific Islands. Speculation is that these wars existing since the beginning of settlements on the island as a means of population control. Being primarly hunter-gatherers, the theory suggests inhabitants found the islands could not sustain ever-growing populations. In order to maintain populations within sustainable levels, wars were waged between combative tribes.

    This was likely not a conscious decision, in that the tribes did not sit down and map out a war schedule. Rather, during lean years, the tribes would branch beyond their usual territories in search of scarce foods, and find themselves at war with those wishing to preserve the limited resources of their own territory. The same is likely true of hunting grounds on the mainland.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:37 PM
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    "SH; The old just war theory provides for self defense. Why the revision? Was it to appease the UN?"

    I'm not sure what revision you are speaking of. 'Just War' has always allowed one nation to come to the aid of another, rather than merely acting in their own self defense. The requirement that it must be counter aggression clearly meets the 'defense' limitation, though it is not limited solely to the defense of itself, but permits defense of an ally.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:40 PM
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    I'm not aware of the Catholic Church declaring the Iraq conflict a 'just war'.

    However, in the original war, Kuwait was attacked by Iraq, and Kuwait is an ally of the United States. President Bush justified the second phase of the Iraq war on the grounds of Saddam Hussein's violation of the terms of cease fire agreed to in the first.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:54 PM
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    "SH, When the US attacked Iran with an embargo, an act of war, what nation did they attack?"

    I thought we were discussing the Catholic position on just war. Why do you keep asking about other issues. Has the Vatican weighed in on the Iran sanctions? I've not seen it if they have.

    I'm not aware that sanctions are an 'act of war'. A nation has the right to trade or not to trade with whomever it chooses. But, the US is not the Catholic Church, so that really has little to do with the Catholic position on 'just war'.

    Your comments seem to be all over the place on this.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 4:12 PM
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    "I think that all killing, rape, and destruction can be justified by those criminal enough to pursue such activities."

    In theory, yes. Otherwise they would not pursue them. Unless we be mad men, we always justify our actions to ourselves even if to no one else.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 4:14 PM
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    "It bears resemblance to the northeast liberal neoconservative position."

    Obviously, you are reading it with a jaundiced eye if you believe that.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 5:10 PM
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    "These are the People of the water , not people of the Great Lands ."

    They share a common ancestry. As do we all.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 6:21 AM

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