Recall bishop's Iraq position - Catholic Courier

Recall bishop’s Iraq position

To the editor:

Many are unaware or have forgotten Bishop Clark’s position on Iraq. Before the U.S. invasion in March 2003, he believed the war was unjust. As the troops went in, Bishop Clark expressed reservations but predicted a “decisive victory” and ended up supporting the war in a 3/27/03 Courier statement: “It is my expectation that our nation will continue to respect and uphold long-held tenets of human rights and the laws governing war. In all our actions in war, we must value the lives and livelihood of Iraqi civilians as (our own) ‚Ķ. Always my thoughts and prayers and affection are with the faithful young men and women of our armed forces answering the call of our president. ‚Ķ Reservations or concerns about this war should not be transferred to military personnel or their families.”

At that time the daily gospels included Mt. 5:20-26 and Mt. 5:43-48, “My command to you is, love your enemies.” Since then I have seen two brief mentions of support for troops but no mention of Jesus or the Gospel in relation to this war.

Jesus is not the reason for the present season of Christians killing on state authority. Rather, it is failure to believe and teach Jesus’ gospel that has produced another scandalous Advent/Christmas season. For Herod, the Holy Innocents were expendable to protect wealth and privilege. American imperialism has found Iraqis no less expendable, killing thousands with “shock and awe.”

Pope Benedict XVI opposed the invasion when he was a cardinal and said, “‚Ķtoday we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a just war.”

Mark Scibilia-Carver

Cold Springs Road


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