Can Roman Catholics support a war on Iraq? While Pope John Paul II and most church leaders have made clear statements against the war, several prominent U.S. Catholics believe there is a moral case for disarming Saddam Hussein by force. At the heart of the debate are Catholic doctrines about just war, political authority, and the role of individual conscience in making moral decisions.

Here, Beliefnet collects analysis and opinion on war in Iraq, including our members' most active discussions.

Church Teaching on War

  • Official Catholic Teaching on War
    The conditions for legitimate defense by military force. Excerpted from the Catholic Catechism

  • Just War Theory in a Nutshell

  • St. Thomas Aquinas on War

    Opinions: Faithful Catholics Can Support This War

  • We have a moral obligation to stop terrorism: Opinions by George Weigel and Michael Novak

  • It's a matter of conscience
    By Deal Hudson

  • If a war is just, it's immoral to wait too long to fight it
    By Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

  • Analysis: Catholic Neoconservatives Make Case for War

    Church Statements: "Difficult to Justify" Iraq War

  • March 22: Pope Says War Threatens "Fate of Humanity"

  • March 19: U.S Bishops "Deeply Regret" War

  • March 18: Vatican Says Bush Will Answer to God

  • War is always a "defeat for humanity"
    Excerpts from a speech by Pope John Paul II

  • There are still peaceful avenues available
    Papal envoy's statement after meeting with President Bush

  • Preemptive war creates a troubling precedent
    Statement by America's Catholic bishops

    Related News and Features

  • March 24: Bishop Unhurt in Baghdad Blast

  • March 21: Iraqi Christians Consecrate Iraq to Mary

    Pro- and Anti-War Catholics Mobilize
  • Group says just war conditions have been met, launches petition drive
  • Pax Christi urges civil disobedience if war escalates

    What Should Catholic Soldiers Do?
    When Church teaching and the military oath collide

    Catholics Living in Iraq
    Populations by diocese according to 2001 data

    A Liberal's Defense of Bush
    By Eugene Cullen Kennedy

    Member Discussions

  • "Papal statements on Iraq are not infallible"

  • More on Papal authority and Iraq

  • Send the Pope on a peace mission to Baghdad?

    Conflicted Catholics

  • Assassinate Saddam?
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