The Vatican, working off Catholic doctrine of just war, has announced that it condones American military intervention in Iraq, the Washington Times reported last week. The Holy See’s ambassador to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, is quoted as saying, “Military action might be necessary,” and calling for, “intervention now, before it is too late.”
The move to endorse American airstrikes against the militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, diverges from Vatican policy in Syria. Last year when President Obama considered intervening with airstrikes in the Syrian civil war, the Vatican condemned the plan. It disapproved, too, of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fear for the safety and freedom of Christians and other minority religious sects in Iraq today has altered the assessment.
Just war theory is perhaps best summarized in paragraph 2309 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It reads: