Why is the Catholic Church Moving Away from Just War Theory?

Just War and Ethics isn’t only in the domain of religion, but religion certainly has influenced the development of morality, values, ethics and Just War in the United States and continue to do so. Movement in thought on these topics by as large of a denomination as the Roman Catholic Church can influence perceptions on Just War thought worldwide so is pertinent to both people of religion and those who are non-religious but are interested in Just War.

Following is an article by Terrence Rynne from The National Catholic Reporter which reports on the shifting tide of Just War thought within the Catholic Church:


The Catholic church’s ongoing move away from the just war theory as “settled teaching” to a more expansive call to proactive peacemaking has been made clear in a global conference scheduled for April 11-13 in Rome.Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” is gathering educators and activists from all over the world, particularly from the global South. The precise purpose of the conference is to more fully develop a vision of nonviolence and just peace for the Catholic church.

Five reasons underlie this pivot to a positive vision of peace and a point of view that goes well beyond the just war theory:

  • Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete;
  • The rise of a Christology “from below”;
  • A clearer understanding of how the New Testament relates to contemporary problems;
  • A renewed appreciation of the way the early church practiced Jesus’ teachings on peace;
  • The compelling, thrilling saga of nonviolent action over the 60 years since Gandhi.


Continue reading about 1900 more words at The National Catholic Reporter website…



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