Friday, August 18, 2006

Is Pope Benedict's stance on Middle East conflict nuanced enough?

We now have a ceasefire in the Middle East. But, the conflict is really not over. Hezbollah has shown itself incapable of honoring the terms of multiple ceasefires. This conflict was just another skirmish in the general war that has existed since 1948 when Israel became a state surrounded by Arab nations that refused to acknowledge its right to exist.

I'm in total agreement with Miller. Israel has a right to defend its population against radical Islamist terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas whose perpetual mandate is to destroy Israel and irradicate the Jews

First Things

On the Square--August 16, 2006

Robert T. Miller writes:

On August 1, I criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Since then, he has granted an interview to some German journalists in anticipation of his upcoming trip to Bavaria. Asked about the fighting in the Middle East, he said in part:

We do want to appeal to all Christians and to all those who feel touched by the words of the Holy See, to help mobilize all the forces that recognize how war is the worst solution for all sides. It brings no good to anyone, not even to the apparent victors. We understand this very well in Europe, after the two world

I find it difficult to understand how the pope says this. Along with many others, I often invoke the Second World War as the paradigm example of a just war, of a case where morality not only permitted but required the use of armed force in order to combat evil. But here Benedict, expressly mentioning the world wars, says that they brought no good to anyone. No good to Elie Wiesel, and all the other prisoners liberated from Buchenwald? No good to the peoples of France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and others saved from Nazi domination? No good to the Poles and other Slavs, destined to slavery to support the Third Reich? No good to the young Joseph Ratzinger, who, freed from service in the Wehrmacht, was able to enter seminary, study theology, become a priest and a professor, and live to become pope?

For further articles on these issues, please see my new blog, "Crusaders for Truth."


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