Friday, March 10, 2006

Bush vs. Benedict

The American Conservative magazine notes how Catholic neoconservatives grapple with the church’s Just War tradition:
Writing in National Review Online—a venue not explicitly Catholic or neoconservative but colored by both—shortly after the death of John Paul II, University of Reading philosophy professor David Oderberg put the neocon line bluntly. “When it comes to applying tradition to life-and-death moral issues”—such as the Iraq War—“Bush 43 wins hands down over John Paul II.” George Weigel or Michael Novak would never write such a thing, but the conclusion is one to which their arguments readily lead. Where foreign policy is concerned, for the Catholic neoconservative, it is Bush is, Benedict no.

The article goes on to state:
Yet in the end, American Catholics are not faced with a choice between conservatism and their faith—conservatives in the realist, anti-militarist traditions of George Kennan, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, and the 1930s Old Right have always held foreign-policy views compatible with Benedict’s. But between what commonly passes for conservatism today, as represented by the president’s Iraq policy, and the vision of the pope there is an unbridgeable gap, on one side or the other of which American Catholics will have to take a stand.

You can read the entire article here.