David Swanson and John Dear on Catholic Church Rejecting “Just War” Theory

No More War

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
April 25, 2016

After 1700 years, the Catholic Church is turning against the idea that there can be a “just war.” We speak with John Dear.

John Dear is an internationally recognized voice for peace and nonviolence. A priest, pastor, retreat leader, and author, he served for years as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S. After September 11, 2001, he was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Center in New York, and counseled thousands of relatives and rescue workers. John has traveled the war zones of the world, been arrested some 75 times for peace, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, recently visited Afghanistan, given thousands of lectures on peace across the U.S., and served as a pastor of several churches in New Mexico.

His many books include: The Nonviolent Life; Walking the Way; Thomas Merton Peacemaker; A Persistent Peace; Transfiguration; You Will Be My Witnesses; Living Peace; The Questions of Jesus; The God of Peace; Jesus the Rebel; Peace Behind Bars; and Disarming the Heart. He has been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sen Barbara Mikulski. He works for www.campaignnonviolence.org, is a priest of the Diocese of Monterey, Cal., and lives in New Mexico. See: www.johndear.org

Statement from April 11-13 Vatican Meeting:

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Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
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David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. War Is A Lie: Second Edition, published by Just World Books on April 5, 2016. I’ll come anywhere in the world to speak about it. Invite me!

From the archives:

Oscar Romero: Thou Shall Not Kill

An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind by Rev. John Dear

Pope Tells World’s Top Arms Dealers to End Arms Trade by David Swanson + Pope Francis’ Speech to Congress + Transcript

Everyone Has to Practice Nonviolence. Now. by Rev. John Dear

Father John Dear: Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace

13 thoughts on “David Swanson and John Dear on Catholic Church Rejecting “Just War” Theory

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  9. Now we’re beginning to make some sense ~ if, and only if the core principles in their true meaning are really understood. It has to be an evolutionary movement in consciousness. These two key words “just” and “war” must be precisely defined and rightly interpreted as spiritual principles.

    Jihad for example is such an abused term, yet it says it all; because it is precisely that, a spiritual concept ~ that is now so totally misrepresented and misappropriated by the fake “caliphate” and its surrogate proponents. Who initiated this heretical abuse and abomination? What legitimate authority has the right to tell us black is white? What kind of mind would reduce the highest virtue to the basest most contemptible horror?

    Yet another highly significant Arabic term that needs to be brought, robustly, into mainstream discourse, is “ijtihad.” This is a brilliant concept, vastly under-valued.

    Ijtihad (Arabic: اجتهاد‎ ijtihād, “diligence”) is an Islamic legal term that means “independent reasoning” or “the utmost effort an individual can put forth in an activity.”
    (Ijtihad – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    • David , Jihad means struggle .
      It is driving deeper into the self instead of projecting self loathing as violence of others .

      But try telling that to literalists and media manipulators . Pope Francis is about to dissolve Augustine’s four point Just War theory in the same way that John Paul the 2nd closed the loophole on the death penalty since Constantine.

      • Thanks for the response Rocket. I think we’re really getting somewhere. I shall be very interested to read your comments.

        There are two Davids here, just to avoid any possible confusion….myself and D Swanson!

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