We want war to end the war

Light of truth

Fr Justine Kaiprampadan

Madhumita Ray, a professor of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, sacked for saying on TV ‘India should not go to war with Pakistan.’ She appeared on channel discussion on the Pulwama attack and stated that India should not go to war with Pakistan. On a News discussion, along with retired Indian Army Colonel Purna Chandra Patnaik, she protested the views of the colonel and said,” in 70 years, we have fought many wars with Pakistan and they have never solved anything. All over the world, wars are fought and they don’t solve anything.” Two days after the show aired, Ray was summoned by the disciplinary committee of KIIT and was asked to submit her resignation. All the political parties and news papers hail the war news, considering themselves as patriotic and the others as anti-national.

In the New Testament, war is universally seen as evil and instead, Jesus emphasized peace. He advised us to avoid retaliation and revenge and to extend our love even to our enemies. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” St. Paul echoed Jesus’ sentiment. “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay”, says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21). Peace is not the absence of armed conflict. Peace is, at its heart, a reflection of God’s Kingdom. Ifwe violate the commandment to ‘love our neighbour,’ we cannot rightly be said to have peace. More recently, Pope Francis has emphatically reminded us again that we must ask God for the grace to cry and lament when faced with the world’s calamities and the victims of war, many of whom are starving children, orphans, and the poor who pay the highest price.

Broadly speaking, when it comes to war, as a function of national interest; under certain conditions, war may be morally permissible, or even necessary. The conditions include: just cause, right intention, legitimate authority, and proportionality and probability of success. Just cause is usually considered the most important criterion. It requires, simply, that political communities may wage war only in response to particular serious wrong doing. The most common justification for war is the crime of aggression – the violation of the political sovereignty or territorial integrity of another political community. The political leaders accept the huge moral harms of war for some lesser goal is disproportionate and vicious, but also because wrongly-intended wars are more likely to justify other moral violations.

The catholic church,through history has taken a stand midway between militarism and pacificism in its extreme. Virtus stat in medio has its application. An approach to the reign of peace and good will on earth will come only through an observance of the teachings of Jesus Christ. If we recall the terrible toll of life and property, destruction of mental and moral values, every human will do the utmost such that a catastrophe so grave shall never again occur. Hating war, we want war to end the war and now we find, as with nearly every war that went before, it was delusion and snare.

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