TRANSCENDING JUSTICE: Pope John Paul II and Just War
Article first published online: 19 MAY 2011
© 2011 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 286–298, June 2011
How to Cite
Simpson, P. L. P. (2011), TRANSCENDING JUSTICE: Pope John Paul II and Just War. Journal of Religious Ethics, 39: 286–298. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2011.00477.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 19 MAY 2011
- Iraq War;
- Just War Theory;
- war and peace
Pope John Paul II's opposition to the Iraq War was not that it failed to meet the conditions of Just War Theory. Indeed, we cannot tell from what he publicly said whether he thought it met those conditions or not, for he would have opposed it in any case. His thinking was rather that even just and necessary wars always come, as it were, too late, and are never able to solve the problems that made wars just and necessary. He was not trying therefore to enter into the details of Just War Theory. He wanted to subsume the principles of war into the principles of peace and to do so, not by denying justice, but by transcending it with charity. This article shows how this thinking is to be understood and the many means the Pope devised for putting this thinking into practice.