Letter From the Pastor Sept. 8
This week our Holy Father asked Catholics around the world to join him in praying and fasting for peace in general and more specifically for peace in Syria – for an end to bloodshed in that country’s civil war and for a peaceful response from the community of nations to grave evil and injustice that exists there. Once again, the Church stands as a voice of peace and defender of ALL life. Response in the United States has been so remarkably varied and has often been rooted in anything BUT the call for peace (war-fatigue, partisan political bickering, economic considerations). The Church’s chief consideration in international affairs are always human considerations. Every time bombs fly, no matter who sends them or where they are going, innocent lives are lost. Every human life is equally valuable to God and the Church calls us to have the same attitude. In recent years, American credibility has been stretched throughout the world because when deciding when and where to deploy our military might, we have often abandoned centuries-old just war considerations in light of more narrow concerns. As Catholics, the Church calls us back to our moral tradition, rooted most firmly in human considerations. Please pray that level heads prevail in the current discussion going on around the world. Pray for the people in Syria and for peace in the Middle East. Pray for our president and those charged with making difficult decisions about the use of force, contact your representatives on Capitol Hill and allow your voice to enter the decision making process, and finally remind yourself of the excellent Catholic Tradition regarding the just use of military power (Google ‘Just War Theory’).
The Syrian situation is difficult. There are many grave considerations to be weighed in deciding how non-Syrians should respond. Above all, our concern must be to save as many Syrian lives as possible and to end the suffering of the Syrian people. Let us join our prayers to those of the Holy Father that this can be done peacefully.