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The Catholic Church and the Iraq War

This morning. at mass in the Cathedral of San Fernando in San Antonio, Texas, the reading from the New Testament was the story of the miracle of the bread and fishes. It was preceded by a reading from Kings about a similar event. It was another example of "correspondances", as Pascal called them, by which the New Testament is shown to complement the Old. Since I regard this miracle as a pious fable, I was uneasy as to what would happen next. Father David Garcia gave the sermon, opening with references to the Iraq war and to the strict conditions under which war may be undertaken according to the Catholic doctrine of just war. Without saying whether the Iraq war met those conditions, he skipped to the miracle of the bread and fishes, stressing the need for people to be fed. It seemed to be an ingenious way of saying that the Church does not like the Iraq war (the Pope vigorously opposed it), and that the real problem is to feed the hungry and bring about Christian social justice.

Ronald Hilton - 7/27/03