This past weekend, I traveled with friends to St. Edmund’s Retreat Center on Ender’s Island, Connecticut, near Mystic. It is a beautiful place, literally an island connected to land by a causeway. It consists of new and old buildings and was apparently the summer cottage of a wealthy family in the 20s and 30s. When we first arrived Friday night, it was foggy, rainy, and there was lightning in the distance. That combined with the fieldstone architecture and Olde England feel had me expecting to see hobbits or elves pop around a corner at any moment. It is a lovely place and with the great weather the rest of the weekend it was a very nice time.
Inevitably, we discussed the war. One friend, who is adamantly opposed to the war made a brief reference during prayer time to an Iraqi boy supposedly injured in a bombing and went on to blame America for attacking innocents. I didn’t say anything at the time, but in discussing it with other friends later I asked whether the US was wrong for invading Germany in 1944 when we knew that civilians would die in the fighting. The point is that war is a dangerous effort that one does not enter into lightly, but that sometimes circumstances demand it. Plus the ultimate cause of that boy&88217;s injury is Saddam Hussein’s evil acts.
In that conversation I realized the dilemma that many faithful Catholics feel. On the one hand, they recognize the justice of the war and the need to remove Saddam, but they are torn by their respect for the Pope and what they have heard is his condemnation of the war. But the fact is that the Pope did not condemn the war, but opposes it. There’s a difference. He personally believes that this war is not necessary at this time, but he has not judged it as immoral. For myself, I trust President Bush when he says we can’t wait any longer and I think that he has information the Pope doesn’t. Others say that they believe that the Pope is wiser and holier than they are and they trust his judgment without question. I suppose I can accept that without agreeing with it.
On the way home, I stopped at my brother’s house to visit and catch the news footage. the only news I had all weekend was radio updates every few hours so I felt very out of touch with what was going on.