Lawyers have role to play in pursuit of peace - Nuncio
War not an option yet: Dr Pell
"To my mind it is morally justifiable for the Australian navy to enforce the embargo on Iraq and for Australian troops to pressure Saddam to comply with the United Nations peace conditions he accepted in 1991," says the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell.
"These are honourable activities.
"But the public evidence is as yet insufficient to justify going to war, especially without the backing of the UN Security Council."
Dr Pell said the teaching in the New Testament has an emphasis on loving, forgiving enemies and a special blessing for peacemakers.
"However, the legitimacy of political authority is also acknowledged - and the duty to repress evildoers. There are real tensions here,
"Many of the persecuted Christian minority in the pagan Roman Empire were pacifists, an easier position when pagan armies defended the borders and maintained internal order.
"The Christian position then was like that of those Australians today who are invariably anti-American, while benefiting from the American peace achieved over the past 60 years.
"A world without the American superpower would be much more expensive and dangerous for Australians."
He said the theory of a just war, "first spelt out by St Augustine in fifth century North Africa", requires a just cause, legitimate authority and right intention.
"Today just war theory canvasses what activities are legitimate in war time as well as the criteria necessary to go to war, where three other preconditions are often added," the archbishop said. "Going to war should be a last resort, waged with the probability of success, and should not produce still greater evils.
"In 1994 the Catholic Catechism limited the legitimate use of military force to defence against aggression.
"This did not deal with the possibility of military intervention against ethnic cleansing, terrorism and guerrilla warfare.
"A major prudential challenge now comes from the necessity of impeding terrorist networks gaining access to weapons of mass destruction produced by rogue states.
"Have the US, Britain and Australia given sufficient cause according to such an updated list of criteria for a just war?
"Our leaders have yet to give us clear evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and terrorist links."
Archbishop Pell said the evidence Colin Powell gives to the Security Council this week will be crucial.
"Saddam Hussein is a tyrant to his own people … who has used weapons of mass destruction against Iran and the Kurds," he said.
"He has defied for 12 years the 1991 UN peace condition that he disarm."
Dr Pell listed other claims against Saddam, then added: "Experts insist there is much more evidence.
"Enough of this should be made available."
He said an overwhelming imperative for the allies must be to avoid civilian casualties.
"Due process is always important in Australian courts of law and due process is important internationally," he said.
"This means working through the UN, an imperfect instrument of conflicting national interests, where many nations have poor human rights records. But the UN is all we have."
Dr Pell said that while international support cannot decide the morality of invading Iraq, legitimate moral authority is one criterion for a just war.
"More public evidence is needed to demonstrate that the Allied cause is just and to obtain Security Council backing," he said.