The Catholic case for military strikes in Iraq

Pope Francis has called on the world to stop "unjust aggression" in Iraq. He's right.

Pope Francis
(Image credit: (Franco Origlia/Getty Images))

The moral authority of pontiffs has long been used to cajole world leaders into peace and reconciliation. Earlier this year, for instance, Pope Francis tried to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a prayer service that included Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas.

That tradition of papal peace-making lends even more weight to the remarks this week from Pope Francis on the threat of ISIS and the genocide in Iraq and Syria. Talking with the press on his plane as it left South Korea, the pope warned that "unjust aggression" had to be stopped and that action from the international community would be "legitimate." The Associated Press immediately ran the remarks with a headline announcing that the pope had endorsed the use of military force against ISIS, later changing it to "Pope Oks Protecting Iraq Minorities." Reuters' story carried the banner "Pope says legitimate for world to stop Islamist aggression in Iraq."

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.