Rorate Caeli

Speaking of two Popes...
It seems John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger were right...

Pictures of the victims of the
Oct. 31, 2010, bombing of the
Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Cathedral
Baghdad (Dec. 24, 2010)
10 years ago.

And, in the ongoing collapse of the balance of the Middle East that has been unresolved since then, the weakest link - that is, the Christian minorities - have suffered and will continue to suffer the most.

[I] wish to renew an urgent appeal to intensify the commitment to prayer and penance, to invoke from Christ the gift of his peace. There is no peace without conversion of heart.

The next few days will be decisive for the outcome of the Iraqi crisis. Let us pray, then, that the Lord inspire in all sides of the dispute courage and farsightedness.

... [I]n the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the balance of the Middle East region, already sorely tried, and for the extremisms that could stem from it, I say to all: There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace, it is never too late to come to an understanding and to continue discussions.

To reflect on one's duties, to engage in energetic negotiations does not mean to be humiliated, but to work with responsibility for peace.

Moreover, we Christians are convinced that real and lasting peace is not only the fruit of necessary political agreements and understandings between individuals and peoples, but is the gift of God to all those who submit themselves to him and accept with humility and gratitude the light of his love.
John Paul II
March 16, 2003

Cardinal Ratzinger in September 2002:

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."


  1. While I agree our government would have been wiser to listen to both of these Popes, let us not forget that Hussein's blood-letting included the 1 million casualities that were lost during the Iraq-Iran War (which he started), and the approximately 600,000 Iraqis shot, gassed, or worse (yes, there is worse) and tossed into mass graves.

    I, at the time, was on balance for getting rid of the butcher of Baghdad. However, in hindsight, the wisdom of the Vicars of Christ was a higher, wiser road to go...

  2. The concept of preventive war has roots in the Trotskyist notion of permanent revolution. It is more than just interesting that the freemason George Bush jnr and his warrior administration opted for such an evil policy as preemptive acts of aggression.

    I willingly I supported John Paul II's emphatic stance against the Iraq War and particularly against this idea. I certainly opposed his view that all war is unnecessary. However, it is all too easy for the preventive aggressor to contravene national sovereignty in order to pursue self-interested foreign policies. While the USA is absolutely culpable of such programmes it is most certain that communist states justify this as a normal procedure in the establishment of the one-party state leading to a one-world government of soviet states.

    Doubtless, Pope John Paul II was able to discern such purposes which are intrinsically evil. Doubtless, long before he did, St Thomas Aquinas construed similarly in his definition of what constitutes the "just war". That being said, it is possible to justify war but never to permit premeditated attacks on a perceived enemy in order to prevent any possible reaction without real demonstrable provocation beforehand.

  3. David9:05 PM

    Mike: But when it comes from one of the world's worst anti-human governments such rhetoric is nothing more than a facade -- courtesy of Edward Bernays -- and must be exposed as such. The same rhetoric is now being used against Syria, Iran and so on and was used in Serbia, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Vietnam to name a few. If we want to understand this situation we must understand what the two factions of The Party in USA are really after, which is Revolution and destruction of all things human. All in the name of the goddess Liberty, the one that keeps on failing -- and sometimes for more mundane reasons as oil access, new "markets" and outlets for the military industry. The cynicism of the powers of the world at present should make us think many times before we agree to a war based on some high and lofty motives.

    Vive Christ le Roi!


  4. Preventative "war", it seems to me, could be justified if:

    There was moral certaintly that an imminent threat existed that put many innocent lives at risk. Hitler's march into the Rhineland should have provoked the French, who had many more forces than Germany at that point, to crush Hitler's army, thus, perhaps, causing Hitler's government to fall, thereby avoiding WW2. See Churchill's work.

    As well, I do think that the deadly nature of even small amounts of bio/chemical WMD can justify military action to prevent such an attack on one's country. After all, a vanful of the stuff could kill hundreds of thousands in a small amount of time.

    In regard to Iraqi WMD, Bush didn't show enough caution in reading his intelligence. As well, scores of Congressmaen who voted for the War saw that when it was going badly, they could step on Bush's neck, and win political points. They did. Blame Bush, sure enough, but he had a lot of help in going to war. Ask Hillary, Edwards, and Kerry.

  5. Benedict Carter9:55 PM

    The Second Iraq War was an appalling and unnecessary conflict foisted on the world by a man perhaps seeking to outdo daddy while at the same time assauging his guilt at ducking out of service during the Vietnam War; and a British snake-oil salesman who is utterly detested now by the British who finally see him for what he is.

    They did it because ... they could. And around 120,000 people, including British, American and other western soldiers, lost their lives. For what? Iraq is now torn apart while on the ground a system of apartheid keeps communities apart who used to live together with no difficulties.

    Blair is ... no, I won't start. RC readers don't need a bitter rant. I shall just limit myself to asking how on earth did a man who has voted for abortion on countless occasions, never publicly recanted, who indeed holds non-Christian views on every aspect of moral teaching be allowed to have become a Catholic?

    You'll have to ask Cardinal Murphy O'CONNer that one.

    This fine Catholic, who jets around the world advising all sorts of dictators about who-knows-what, and is now worth some $100 million as a result, was one of the two culprits in the on-going destruction of the ancient Catholic Churches in the Middle East.

    As an Englishman, I can only apologise.

  6. Benedict Carter10:03 PM

    A post-script:

    The Anglo-Saxon world is mostly Protestant. The fate of the ancient Churches of the East means nothing to these Masonic power-mad leaders of ours.

    The British and Americans have a proud record, a very proud record, up to the end of the Cold War. Thereafter - hubris, the desire to control and lead the New World Order.

    The fine principles of former years have given way to evil.

    But that's perhaps not a bad summary for the entire life of the West these last decades: religious, moral, financial, economic, you name it.

  7. Mike, even if there's validity to a pre-emptive war doctrine (which is debatable), the US invasion of Iraq was based on lies from the beginning. Hussein was no threat. He had no WMD, he was in violation of no UN resolutions, large swaths of Iraq's territory were under a regularly-enforced no-fly zone, and he had no connection whatsoever to 9/11. The rest of the world knew he was no threat at the time, but most Americans didn't, because even the news media, with their ownership firmly in the grasp of a very small number of mega-corporations (some of which, like GE, were well-compensated members of the "Military-Industrial Complex"), simply didn't report the truth. It was not in their owners' interest to do so.

    John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger were right at the time, Subsequent events proved it. That war was utterly without foundation, and started a chain of events in which the ancient Churches of the Middle East have borne far more than their share of the suffering.

  8. Where is NC?10:34 PM

    You are blaming the fall of Syria on Bush and not Obama's Arab spring? I don't know who's running this blog today, but it looks to me like it's been taken over by Pope Francis and the neocat progressives.

    Iraq would be in the position Iran is today - threatening to destroy Israel if it hadn't been for the "preventive" wars.

    Unfortunately, Obama moved the troops to Afghanistan & told Israel it needs to compromise - Obama has destablized Egypt, Libya and now Syria. Soon Jordan will go too - but it's all Bush's fault?

    It's nice to know you think JPII & Ratz were right about something -- because when they face their maker they are going to answer for what they did to the Roman Catholic Church and the souls they were supposed to save.

  9. AnOunceOfPrevention10:58 PM

    Blair, that Catholic pro-abort, is going to be speaking at that great Catholic Jesuit University of Loyola in Baltimore.

  10. Since the removal of Saddam Hussein, it is the Chrisitian communities which have suffrered the most. This is where the masonic hand can be seen at its most transaprent.

  11. "Hussein was no threat. He had no WMD, he was in violation of no UN resolutions, large swaths of Iraq's territory were under a regularly-enforced no-fly zone, and he had no connection whatsoever to 9/11."

    Hmmm. With all due respect: Not so sure about some of this. You could ask Hans Blix about Saddam's violations of UN resolutions. You could also ask our Navy if he was regularly firing on US warplanes enforcing those resolutions. No threat? Well, ask Kuwait.

    The intelligence blunder was committed by the USA and several European nations.

    Again, right now, it looks like more enforced UN restrictions would have kept him in his box.

  12. Christians of all stripes are much worse off in Iraq now than they were before the war began 10 years ago.

    Same with the Arab Spring states before their outbreak of "democracy".

    Same with Syria.

    I have a number of friends who are Syrian immigrants (Greek Orthodox) and they are all very upset with America's meddling in their country. Assad is not a good guy, but his government left Christians alone. The ones who are bombing churches and monasteries are the "freedom fighters" America has been funding.

  13. P. Triolet2:17 AM

    A point of interest for readers of this 'blog, regarding the Catholics of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad. Some number of Iraqi Catholics fled to Boston, including a number who survived the bombing in 2010. One of their groups, welcomed by the archdiocese of Boston under the name Our Lady of Mesopotamia, celebrates its liturgy at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, Massachusetts, where the traditional Latin Mass is also offered daily. It is an interesting conjunction to find, at one church, Mass celebrated reverently in the ordinary & extraordinary forms of the Roman rite, and in addition in the Syriac Rite. Thank you, New Catholic, for continuing the memory of that attack and the attacks upon all our Eastern Catholic brethren. How providential that these Catholics have found refuge at a church with strong ties to the traditional liturgy, and whose members prayed for the Iraqi Catholics who now have arrived alongside them.

    See pp. 1 & 3 at this link for the story:

    The community of Our Lady of Mesopotamia will observe the following Holy Week schedule according to the Syriac Rite, in Arabic & Aramaic, at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, 270 Elliot Street, Newton:

    Good Friday, March 29th, at 9:00 p.m.
    Easter Sunday, March 31st, at 7:00 p.m.

  14. Mike,

    Well, of course, in 1990, Hussein was an obvious threat to Kuwait. That doesn't necessarily show that he was a threat to anyone else 10-12 years later.

    Neither does firing at aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone indicate a serious threat to anyone or anything outside the borders of Iraq; nor does it say anything about the existence or non-existence of WMD programs that should provoke fears of "mushroom clouds over American cities," a la Ms. Rice.

    Blix severely criticised Hussein for obstructionism and "cat and mouse games" during the UN inspections in the period after Desert Storm. When inspections resumed after the passage of UN Resolution 1441, he said Hussein's cooperation was "proactive, even if not immediate." He was satisfied that the UN inspections team was getting access to everything they wanted, and thought the inspections would have concluded successfully "in a couple of months" if the team hadn't had to withdraw due to the impending hostilities. He strongly criticised the US and UK for exaggerating the threat of Iraqi WMD in order to justify the invasion. I don't have the reference handy, but didn't one of Blair's own advisers later admit that much effort was devoted to "sexing up" the case for war?

    The Niger yellowcake story was a fraud, and this was known even before the invasion, if memory serves.

    The "aluminum tubes" and "trailers" turned out to be, by the US's own adminsion after the invasion, for artillery rockets and weather belloons, respectively.

    I'd agree with you, it's probably correct to call it "an intelligence failure." But possibly, a culpable one. The slimmest evidence, including the self-interested tales of the likes of Ahmed Chalabi, was turned into a justification for a decision that had already been made.

  15. Kung Fubar11:27 AM

    As a US citizen, I thought at the time that the second Iraq war was not justified. The rationale offered by the Bush administration kept changing in the weeks leading up to the invasion -- and continued to change as they came to realize that there were no WMD. Am I the only one who remembers this?

    That the destabilization of Iraq was a disaster for Iraqi Christians is obvious. As fires will do, the extremism JP II foresaw spread, and we now have the Islamist Spring.

    Our rules of operation have also been disastrous for the former "government of laws, not of men" in the United States. Note how the drone assassinations begun abroad by George W. Bush are now coming home under his successor.

    All power on earth has been granted to ... Barack Obama. He can kill whomever he wants, at any time, at will. The people don't seem to mind, as long as gay marriage continues to sweep the nation, solving the "greatest human rights issue of our age". God help us.


  16. Uncle,

    Yes, much was following a drumbeat to war, sadly.

    I do remember reading that when the FBI interviewed Hussein in prison, he told them he planned to re-stock his WMD supply as the first earliest possibility.

    In itself, not grounds for war. Yet I don't think we can utterly dismiss the good news that Hussein is off the world stage, and gone to his judgment!

  17. Lynda4:41 PM

    There are less than half the number of Christians in Iraq now than there was before the invasion by the US. The US army has not protected them against countless atrocities and destruction of many churches. Pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

  18. Common Sense10:09 PM

    Mike ,let's the Iraqi christians be the judges of Mr. Sadam Hussains' rule! They're in much better position to give balanced acount about his rule.I don't believe a single word cacaphoned by western mainstream media. I'm convinced that they're as much victims of this all out pervading babylonian system as we are. As long as the church remains a prisoner to this system, so also the paralisis. Let's pray that H.H. Francis sees it that way and does take an action.

  19. Gladius3:04 PM

    I am so tired of people who defend Bush and Cheney. Iraq was nothing more than a grand experiment of Cheney's smaller, faster war concept. It didn't work.

    What the war in Iraq did do, was unleash death, pain and suffering, that Bin Laden could only dream of. America and Iraq were both victims of this senseless war. Bush and Cheney should be spending their retirement years at Gitmo.

  20. Ora et Labora12:31 AM

    Our two past Popes were correct on this issue.

    God bless them both!!!

    David, Benedict Carter, and Uncle Claibourne,


    Let us not forget our Catholic bretheren in Iraq, Syria and in all the Middle East region all of these people are going through some very very difficult times.

    They are in great danger and loosing their lives their families and everything they have.

    And yes, the Masonic power-mad leaders, and their New World Order are responsible for these evil atrocities.

    Lord Jesus Christ save us for we perish!!!

    Mary Help of Christians pray for us!!!


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