“No Conceivable…Justification”

Cardinal Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office under Pope Pius XII and John XXIII, wrote in 1947:

“The extent of the damage done to national assets by aerial warfare, and the dreadful weapons that have been introduced of late, is so great that it leaves both vanquished and victor the poorer for years after. Innocent people are liable to great injury from the weapons in current use: hatred is on that account excited above measure; extremely harsh reprisals are provoked; wars result which flaunt every provision of the jus gentium, and are marked by a savagery greater than ever.

“And what of the period immediately after a war? Does not it also provide an obvious pointer to the enormous and irreparable damage which war, the breeding place of hate and hurt, must do to the morals and manners of nations? These considerations, and many others which might be adduced besides, show that modern wars can never fulfil those conditions which (as we stated earlier on in this essay) govern – theoretically – a just and lawful war.

“Moreover, no conceivable cause could ever be sufficient justification for the evils, the slaughter, the destruction, the moral and religious upheavals which war today entails”.—-Relationes societatum perfectarum in statu conflictus

N.B. Nor is it even honorable in war to kill at great distances  (unseen heights in the sky) because it risks confusing enemy combatants with civilians who suffer most in modern wars, both directly and from the damage to vital infrastructure needed to support and sustain life.

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