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Teaching condemns indiscriminate acts of war Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I write in response to Don Skarda’s letter of September 16 and Ray McCool’s letter of October 7, both in support of the decision to use atomic weapons on Japan in World War II. During this Respect Life month of October, I feel I cannot let these sentiments pass unchallenged as they fly in the face of Catholic teaching.

Both letters make appeals to emotion but refuse to consider the issues of morality involved. I would like to make two points:

• One person’s immoral actions do not justify our own immoral actions. One nation’s immoral actions do not justify immoral reprisals. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC #2312) emphasizes the need to uphold the moral law during warfare. Men have and will continue to commit horrifying acts. It is the Catholic’s duty everywhere and always to recognize and condemn such acts regardless of nation or race.

•  It is definitive Catholic teaching (CCC #2314) that acts of war that indiscriminately destroy whole cities or large areas “is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” While Hiroshima and Nagasaki are clear examples of such indiscriminate destruction, and should be condemned for the crimes they were, they were not the only such instances. The firebombing of Tokyo and the bombing of Hamburg and Dresden also stand out in this regard.

In sum, as Catholics we are called to defend life from conception to natural death. If we cry out for protection for the unborn but do not with the same voice demand the same for adults, the world will not see faith, but hypocrisy.

Christopher Seyfert, Cross Plains