"Lay down your arms," says Chicago priest

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at attbi.com
Wed Mar 19 05:20:13 MST 2003

March 18 - Speaking at a news conference with other representatives of
Chicago's anti-war movement, Fr. Robert Bossie of the Eighth Day Center for
Justice called on U.S. soldiers, "especially those of the Roman Catholic
faith," to "lay down your arms" and refuse to participate in an assault on

"This war does not remotely qualify as a 'just war'," said Bossie, "because
the United States is not under imminent threat."  Bossie cited statements
from the Vatican declaring that the U.S. war on Iraq would be a "crime
against peace" and would merit "the vengeance of God."

Soldiers participating in this war are at grave risk of sin, Bossie stated.

Asked by a reporter if his opinion would change if Iraq used chemical
weapons against U.S. troops, he said it would not.  "In that case, Iraq
would be using the weapons as a defense against invasion."

Bossie said it was his pastoral duty to give this warning.  "When I served
in the U.S. military, maintaining and servicing nuclear weapons, and later
worked on their development in the private sector, no priest ever counseled
me about the morality of what I was doing," he said.  Chaplains in the armed
forces "must look to their own consciences" in counseling the troops, "but
they should be guided by the teachings of the church."

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