The Weekend Politics Thread Indulges Catholic Tastes

♬ … deluged by stickers and billboards
The conversation turns to war
Never thought it would come down to this it seems every person for themselves ♬
— When you hear a cry from the battlefront, weapons of love will not suffice.

Say what you will about the Roman Catholic Church,1 the organization has the advantage of heard everything at least once. And for right or wrong, good or ill, the boys [sic.] in Rome have each time formulated an official response.

Those anointed answers all appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Derived from an ancient Greek word meaning “to teach orally,” the printed (natch) Catechism clears up contradictions culminating from combing every form of animism, folk religion, and natural and moral philosophy; slapping on a pope; and continuing to claim the title of the One Church, holy, catholic and apostolic.2

A syncretic belief-cum-political system will inevitably accrete seemingly irresolvable conundrums. For example, paragraph 2308 of the Second Edition of the Catechism reminds readers and believers,3 “All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.”

A bunch of catechistic text around this age-old admonition acknowledges that stabbing, shooting and bombing often becomes necessary to protect innocents and repel aggressors. Which leads to paragraph 2309:4

The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  • there must be serious prospects of success;
  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

Military service academies across the globe teach this Catholic just war theory no matter how irreligious the school or religious the government. Of course, nary a war nor armed action by one state against another has ever come close to meeting both the rule of exhausting every other means of resolution or limiting destruction. [cf., The Crusades.] How could they?

Which leads, finally, to the point of this peroration: Why has NATO not yet declared a no-fly zone over Ukraine to stop missile strikes and aerial assaults by Russian forces? Surely, keeping Russian weapons grounded stops short of full-on war-making by Western nations while doing quite a lot to protect noncombatants. Uvular would agree, except for the realistic consequence of Vladimir Putin declaring the purely defensive act a casus belli that justifies rolling armored division into Poland, Slovakia, the Baltic nations on the way to Finland and Sweden, and Moldova.

Madness? Absolutely. But so was invading Ukraine across the land border, via Belarus, and up through the Black Sea. Faced with an unstable actor in the Kremlin and only four days into a single invasion, sending supplies by truck and enacting financial consequences constitute the most appropriate and just responses.

That sucks for Ukrainians. Your Weekend Politics Thread host will not even pretend to accept the cold calculations at play. He goes so far as to call to mind another verse from the featured Uncle Tupelo song above. The remember snippet runs, “Too many years spent trigger-happy / At times I feel betrayed / I feel that I’ve been wronged / Suspended in all disbelief / Until it seems it just can’t go on.”

Uve also knows situations in Ukraine will change. French Phantoms and British Typhoons could appear over Kyiv by the time Politicados finish skipping over this sentence. If that happens soon or later, prospects for a global war will have skyrocketed.

So, just5 for now, do what you personally can to bolster the people under attack and hope against hope for a quick resolution to the literally senseless carnage and destruction. Comment below, too, why not?