Monday, September 18, 2006

Catholic press should lead way vs. immoral war

That's our Catholic Herald title for a (print edition only) letter to the editor from Mark Peters plugging his Catholics for Peace and Justice group.

As I've said before, since Mr. Peters is an archdiocesan employee, rather than keep printing all these letters as if he was just another reader our Herald could just give him a regular social justice op-ed slot. (Perhaps it could be called Letter from Down the Hall. Or, depending on where our Archdiocese relocates its offices, perhaps Letter from the Trailer Next Door.)

If our Herald takes my advice, I hope they also publish Peters' op-eds online. If I could have linked to his letter, you could see for yourself that he refers to claimed

...ridiculing of the Bush administration's idea of "preventive war" ("the concept does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church") by then-Cardinal Ratzinger ...

You might think that a Parish Consultant for an Archdiocese would hesitate to (a) assert that Cardinal Ratzinger was using ridicule, and (b) imply the Church teaches that what is not explicitly permitted in the Catechism is prohibited. And you might think Peters in particular would hesitate after having mis-stated Church teaching in a previous letter to the editor. Had Peters hesitated, he might have found out what Cardinal Ratzinger actually said.
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."

(via The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club)

Peters and CPJ might have been able to make good use of what Cardinal Ratzinger actually said instead of misrepresenting Ratzinger as ridiculing the Bush Administration.

CPJ's current calendar includes

Sunday, September 24 - Nonviolence Training for Direct Action

We can only hope it's not given by the same people who handle CPJ's training in Fact-checking Before Mailing Letters to the Editor.


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