I Just Read One of the Worst Articles of Moral Theology Ever

I just read a disgusting perverse article of badly mangled Catholic moral theology, in which the author, a deacon, justifies the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that struck countless innocent victims, sowing death on an unheard of scale.

The article contains many serious errors on Catholic moral teaching. The author shows himself to be entirely incompetent to write on the subject of ethics. And it is rather alarming to me that a deacon could compile so many errors in one brief text, and have it accepted by a Catholic publication.

The author goes so far as to suggest that perhaps the children killed in the nuclear bombings of those two cities can be considered enemy combatants:

“They were resolved to fight to the last man. And last woman. And even the last child, sad to say.”

“Two attacks, not just one, were ultimately needed to vanquish Japan’s resolve to fight to the last man, woman or child. Japan’s leaders surrendered only when it became clear that the United States really could effectively reduce Japan to that last man, woman or child.”

“The notion of a general population being viewed as and used as ‘combatants’ arose not from the United States but from the Empire of Japan.”

I’ll be writing a lengthy refutation of that article. For now, I will point out that the Church’s teaching on intrinsic evil is under attack, and the attack is from within the Church.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.

Pope Saint John Paul II: “I express my deep appreciation and strong support to all modern peacemakers. I do so especially by reason of the haunting memory of the atomic explosions which struck first Hiroshima and then Nagasaki in August 1945. They bear witness to the overwhelming horror and suffering caused by war: the final toll of that tragedy – as I recalled during my visit to Hiroshima – has not yet been entirely determined, nor has its total cost in human terms yet been calculated, particularly when we consider what effect nuclear war has had and could still have on our thinking, our attitudes and our civilization.”
http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/pont_messages/1995/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19950508_50-anniv-fine-seconda-guerra.html

Pope Saint John Paul II: “Your country remembers the painful episodes of the Second World War that struck countless innocent victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/speeches/1996/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19961004_ambasciatore-giappone.html

Pope Benedict XVI: “The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where atomic energy used for the purposes of war, ended by sowing death on an unheard of scale, serve as a perennial warning.”
http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090531_pentecoste.html

Pope Benedict XVI: “I also greet the group of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I pray that the world may never again witness such mass destruction of innocent human life.”
http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/angelus/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_ang_20091011.html

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11 Responses to I Just Read One of the Worst Articles of Moral Theology Ever

  1. Matt Z. says:

    Ask Deacon if the newborns and 2 years olds were combatants!?! Whats scary is that this is published under a major Catholic news outlet. I hope this article gets pulled.

  2. Mark P. says:

    Although the recent “Civilta Cattolica” article may not have been perfect, I believe that one of the facets of US conservatism it intended to critique was along the lines of the article mentioned above, i.e. an American Catholic viewpoint that justifies the conservative aspects of our political culture such as a hawkish stance on war, no-holds-barred free market economics, and strict immigration policies, to name a few. Conservatives here see the Church’s stance as “liberal” and therefore incorrect, putting the right wing of American culture and politics above the teachings of the Church. To be fair, the left does the same thing with teachings on the “other side” of the political aisle. I believe there is a strategy to the Vatican’s ways with communications such as this one, and it is to get the faithful to recognize that the Church does not succumb to political ideals of either spectrum, but rather transcends the ways of mankind to teach the truth of the Gospel. And the right would be wise to grasp the true social teachings of the Church, such as in regards to immigration, because if we do not show reasonable compassion to migrants, then our stance on pro-life issues carries little weight with those of a liberal leaning. And same for the left, which some on that side put animals or the environment above human life. The Church has the true answers to these issues.

  3. Matt says:

    Venerable Fulton Sheen stated “that our use of the bomb on Hiroshima was as an act contrary to the moral law and we have invited retaliation for that particular form of violence.
    Both obliteration bombing and use of the atomic bomb are immoral because they do away with the moral distinction that must be made in every war – a distinction between civilians and the
    military.”

    Discussing arguments that use of the atomic bomb shortened the war and saved the lives
    of American fighting men, Sheen stated “That was precisely the argument Hitler used in bombing Holland.”

    V. Sheen even stated that the Atom bombing change America’s moral tipping point.

  4. Matt says:

    “‘Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.’ A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons – to commit such crimes” (CCC no. 2314)

  5. Tom Mazanec says:

    IIRC, you project that America will use pure fusion bombs in a war against Islamist nations.
    Would these arguments apply?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The pure fusion bombs (speculative eschatology) used in a future war would have the benefit of not causing injury via radiation poisoning (no uranium or plutonium in the bombs, just hydrogen). They would also be capable of being designed with low yields, so as to target only military installations, such as ICBMs with nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. Certainly, they must not be used to target entire cities or centers of mass population. Good point, though.

    • Tom Mazanec says:

      From the Wikipedia article on pure fusion weapon:
      Dr. David Hafemeister of California Polytechnic State University described the radioactive effects of a pure fusion weapon to be much higher than that of a fission-triggered device. He also described a pure fusion weapon as having twice the radioactive output than current fusion-based weapons. The destruction, however, is lessened given the fact that a pure fusion weapon contributes a smaller blast energy than that of fission-based weapons, which are recorded as having a greater kinetic energy than fusion devices.[7]

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t think that refers to radioactive fallout, but to the immediate effects in the blast area (where everyone is killed).

  6. Mark P. says:

    Case in point, apparently recently one of the President’s “spiritual advisors” suggested that he was elected and “ordained by God” in a way in order to stage a nuclear attack on North Korea. I believe this is the kind of rhetoric the “Civilta Cattolica” article was addressing.

  7. Mark P. says:

    Fortunately, this comment was corrected by a Catholic priest in Dallas. A few of the Catholic news outlets reported this story within the last few days.

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