Monthly Archives: July 2014

On a more serious note

Speaking of the New Oxford Review, and given the latest portentous and even apocalyptic events in Iraq, I’d like to mention the folks at NOR as being on my list of “real Catholic heroes of the Iraq War.” For years they condemned the war in no uncertain terms, even though I’m sure it alienated many of their very conservative and pro-military readers. Here’s a sample:

“Let’s be honest — and, yes, we realize that many conservative Catholics don’t want to know the unvarnished truth: It turns out that our soldiers died and suffered to set up a training ground for Islamic terrorists in Iraq. Bush has it backwards: The U.S. is creating many more terrorists in Iraq than it is eradicating.”

from What Does the Pope Know About World Affairs?

You’ll have to pay a couple bucks to read the whole article but I highly recommend it. Better yet, get a subscription.

For me personally their website was very influential because once I became acquainted with some of their powerful writings against the war, I began to explore their vast online archives on all things Catholic. They, along with others, helped to bring me back, with “a twitch upon the thread.”


Penance for Wartime Sins

“I have a priest friend who is preparing a former soldier for reception into the Church, he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he saw and did things that deeply wounded him and bears the scars of guilt. We spoke about how to deal with his guilt. Like many ex-soldiers, I suspect he has tried drink, drugs or even psychotherapy, most priests, myself included, might give a penance of a few Rosaries but really rely on allowing him to talk, in my experience this rarely works. Pre-Trent, and possibly in Orthodoxy he would have given a penance that involved a prayer of exorcism of some sort followed by some kind of real penance, public humiliation, an arduous pilgrimage or time in monastery, vigils or fasting. Outward actions, signs and symbols bring about an inward change in our attitudes, our minds and hearts often follow our bodies.

I remember being told of the Compostella Camino after the WWII being revived by former soldiers, sometimes sometimes barefoot, sometimes carrying rucksacks filled with rocks doing penance for wartime sins.”

Just War: Intellectual Fraud?

Here is a great conversation on podcast about Just War.

Just War Theory: So What?

“The real evils in war are love of violence, revengeful cruelty, fierce and implacable enmity, wild resistance, and the lust of power, and such like; and it is generally to punish these things, when force is required to inflict the punishment, that, in obedience to God or some lawful authority, good men undertake wars.” Saint Augustine, City of God

Paths of Glory




As the U.S. government prepares to wage all out war (“intense and sustained,” as John Kerry has put it) in Iraq again, let’s hope and pray that Catholic young men, and all young men, will decline the invitation to get involved in this diabolical enterprise. Here’s an article that may prompt reflection and introspection.

The Faceless Men