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Rome Reports

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The Church and War: A look at the 'humanitarian intervention' norm

On his flight back from South Korea, Pope Francis said he was very concerned about the violence in Iraq and the attacks on religious minorities. He even said that if need be, he'd be willing to go there. He specifically talked about stopping the Islamic State.  POPE FRANCIS (August 18th)  "It is legitimate to stop the unjust aggressor. I want to underline the verb: stop. I don't  say bomb or start a war, but stop! The means by which that happens, need to be evaluated.â?  The Pope also added that the intervention must be part of an international consensus and multilateral.  By doing so, the Pope addressed the a Catholic norm known as 'humanitarian intervention.' It was drafted back in the 90's by John Paul II. It describes the stand the Catholic Church takes amid violence, war and continuous death threats.  It goes beyond the traditional method of a state adopting a self defense tactic.  John Paul II coined the phrase 'humanitarian intervention' during the height of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Back then, the Pope asked the UN repeatedly to intervene in the country to protect religious minorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Time and time again, he raised his voice and spoke out against the massacres of the innocent.  JOHN PAUL II December 18th, 1994  "Stop! Stop in the name of Baby Jesus.â?  Pope Francis has also been outspoken about all the wars raging on in the world. In particular the violence Islamic militants are carrying out against religious and ethnic minorities.  POPE FRANCIS (August 10th)  "All of this deeply offends God and humanity! You cannot hate in the name of God! You cannot engage in war in the name of God.!â? According to this Church norm,'humanitarian intervention' overrides the international principle of non-intervention in foreign states.  AC/KLH  RR FA -PR  up: PM