current2You will find information on war on several web sites.

Generally, the Australian Bishops have spoken on peace-making, rather than on war. However some other sites contain documents specifically on war, e.g. the website of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council: Click on Publications | Position Papers and you will find a list of documents, some of which will be relevant.

The Church Speaks on War and Peace is an excellent document. It is provided as a basic resource for local communities, justice groups and individuals who are seeking further information on the Church's pronouncements on war and peace. It reviews the teachings of the Church on issues of war and peace as contained in the Catechism. Included are excerpts of statements made by the Holy Father and Church leaders around the world.

Click on Catholic Social Justice Series Papers and you will find a list of publications that include War on Iraq: Is it Just? by Bruce Duncan. Note that these papers must be purchased from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

You will find an excellent section on war in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The section, commencing at paragraph 2317 is headed Avoiding war.

The basis for the Church's teaching on war is the respect for the dignity of the person, respect for life but the need to ensure that aggression can be resisted for the sake of peace and justice.

The web site of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has a number of documents on war or click on Departments | Social Development & World Peace | International Justice and Peace | International Issues by Topic | War and Peace.

The encyclical of Pope John XXIII, Pacem in terris (Peace on Earth) presents a strong argument against war. Although it is an older document, having been written in 1963, it continues a tradition of the church opposing war. This encyclical is available on the Vatican web site: Click on English | The Holy Father | John XXIII | Encyclicals.


This material was prepared by Elizabeth Delaney sgs, Information Officer, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Copyright © 2005.