Jewish World Review March 17, 2003 / 13 Adar II, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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This loyal Catholic believes that, humanistically, the Pope is one of the many Saddam enablers



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | It is fairly easy to understand why France, Germany, China and Russia oppose removing Saddam Hussein by force; all of those countries are doing profitable business with Saddam, and all of them would like to see American power diminished.

But Pope John Paul II is another matter. His opposition to military action is understandable in theory but troubling in practice.

John Paul has sent his emissary, Cardinal Pio Laghi, to tell President Bush that attacking Iraq would be "unjust" and "immoral." That's like sending Sister Mary Theresa to tell Eminem to stop cursing. The president is firmly convinced that Saddam is an evil man with murder on his mind. Short of Jesus appearing in the Oval Office with an opposing point of view, Mr. Bush is not going to change his opinion.

The Catholic Church embraces the tradition of "just war." That is, any use of force must be accompanied by clear and convincing evidence that only force will solve a situation that is both threatening and immoral. And since there is the possibility that U.N. weapons inspectors might be able to restrain Saddam, the Pope believes there are still options to war.

The problem with this argument is faith, pardon the pun. The Pope is putting his faith in a system of inspections that very well might fail. If that happens and even a portion of Saddam's unaccounted for 8,500 liters of anthrax are used against people, a worldwide catastrophe would ensue.

The Pope does not answer questions, so it is impossible to know what he thinks about that possibility. We also don't know how John Paul squares keeping Saddam in power considering his murderous past. It's one thing for the Vatican to condemn Saddam's gassing of the Kurds, mass murder and rape in Kuwait, and funding of suicide bombing expeditions, it is quite another to prevent those things,

So what are America's 65 million Catholics supposed to do? Theologically, the Pope is on firm ground. Humanistically, he is one of the many Saddam enablers. If the nations of the world would unite against evil things like Saddam, and the insanity of countries like North Korea, deadly situations would be solved and the world would be a better, safer place.

But the world will not unite against evil, and the Pope does not call for that practical unification. Instead, he calls for peace. Does he really believe Saddam and Kim Jong Il are listening?

The Catholic Church teaches "tranquillitas ordinis," the peace of order which is supposed to be imposed by legal and political means. But as the world has seen, Osama Bin Laden, Adolph Hitler and, yes, Saddam Hussein has not been real bullish on "the peace of order." Instead, they have embraced the practice of "violent chaos."

As a loyal Catholic, I am glad the Pope is praying for America and for peace. I pray his prayers will work a miracle and Saddam will be removed from power without bloodshed.

But if that miracle is not forthcoming, this Catholic does not have faith that Saddam will not use his outlawed anthrax somewhere down the line.

And so to prevent the mass death that took place in Europe and Asia while another pope was praying 60 years ago, I support the moral quest of removing a dangerous killer from power. Heaven forgive me.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.

Up


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© 2001 Creators Syndicate