In 2007 World Day of Peace Message last week, Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “War always represents a failure for the international community and a grave loss for humanity. When, despite every effort, war does break out, at least the essential principles of humanity and the basic values of all civil coexistence must be safeguarded; norms of conduct must be established that limit the damage as far as possible and help to alleviate the sufferings of civilians and of all the victims of conflicts.”
In the face of this, President Bush has ordered the “surge” of more than 20,000 additional US military personnel into Iraq. How can escalating a war which (in the judgment of the Holy Father, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the World and National Council of Churches, and others) failed to meet the criteria for a “just war” in the first place possibly lead to any kind of lasting peace, justice for all, and the unity of the human family?
Let us associate ourselves with the words of Benedict XVI, “…I wish to make an urgent appeal to the people of God: Let every Christian be committed to tireless peacemaking and strenuous defense of the dignity of the human person and his (or her) inalienable rights.”