War ‘difficult to justify’
War 'difficult to justify'
Anti-war marchers hold paper doves during a demonstration in Melbourne. Tens of thousands of people turned out to protest against a US-led war against Iraq
War against Iraq would be "difficult to justify" because of a lack of evidence that the country posed an imminent danger to the United States, says the chairman of the US bishops' committee on international policy.
In a letter to his fellow US bishops, Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, said the November statement by the bishops' conference, which questioned an attack on Iraq, was still "valid and useful as Catholics and others reflect on the morality of a possible war with Iraq."
In the November statement, the bishops said that resorting to war under current circumstances "would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for overriding the strong presumption against the use of military force".
The French and Scottish bishops have alsoexpressed doubts on the moral legitimacy of declaring war against Iraq.
The Vatican is playing an active role in trying to resolve the issue peacefully. Pope John Paul II has had talks with the Iraqi deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, and also sent his own envoy to Iraq for talks.Report, page 6