a OBSERVATÓRIO DA PAX: Cardinal Turkson: 'We do not stop war by starting another war'

segunda-feira, 3 de outubro de 2016

Cardinal Turkson: 'We do not stop war by starting another war'

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis is giving "very strong recognition" to a landmark conference held at the Vatican last spring that called on the global Catholic church to reject its long-held teachings on just war theory, Cardinal Peter Turkson has said.

Turkson, the head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the pontiff's decision to focus his message for World Peace Day in 2017 on nonviolent strategies to prevent and stop global violence was partly caused by the discussions at the conference.

"He's adopted this topic … as the message of peace for next year," said Turkson, referring to Francis. "We are giving a very strong recognition to the conference and to the things that were discussed and said there."

The cardinal was speaking in an NCR interview Monday in response to a question about the April event, which was co-hosted by his council and the Catholic peace group Pax Christi International.

Turkson said the participants of the conference asked the church to re-examine the concept of just war, first enunciated by fourth-century bishop St. Augustine, and "slightly begin to move away from that."

He said that while just war teachings were first developed to make wars difficult or impossible to justify, they are now used more as conditions that allow violence to be used.

"My understanding is that it was initially meant to make it difficult to wage war because you needed to justify it," said the cardinal. "This now has been interpreted these days as a war is just when it is exercised in self-defense … or to put off an aggressor or to protect innocent people."

Turkson continued: "In that case, Pope Francis would say: 'You don't stop an aggression by being an aggressor. You don't stop a conflict by inciting another conflict. You don't stop a war by starting another war.'"

"It doesn't stop," said the cardinal. "We've seen it all around us. Trying to stop the aggressor in Iraq has not stopped war. Trying to stop the aggressor in Libya has not stopped war. It's not stopped the war in any place. We do not stop war by starting another war."

Turkson said the participants at the conference promoted "another thinking:" Gospel nonviolence, or "nonviolence as Jesus was nonviolent."

"People think that this is Utopian, but Jesus was that," said the cardinal, calling Jesus' instruction to his disciples to turn the other cheek if someone were to strike them as an example of "non-aggression" in response to violence.

"From the point of view of us Christians, and talking as Christians, our master also taught us a way of dealing with violence," said Turkson. "Is it worth following what our master taught us? What he taught us is this nonviolence." (Mais ...)

National Catholic Reporter

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