WASHINGTON (November 17, 2005) – The new questions raised by global terrorism and the preventive use of military force in Iraq were among the topics discussed at a colloquium convened by the Bishops' Committee on International Policy at Georgetown University on November 11.
"This was an opportunity to convene experts representing many different perspectives to examine and apply the Church's teaching on war and peace to pressing foreign policy issues," explained Bishop John Ricard, who completed his term as chairman of the Bishops' International Policy Committee this week. "The purpose was not to rehearse past debates, but rather to reflect on future moral challenges in light of what we have learned from recent experience," he noted.
In addition to terrorism and preventive war, the colloquium had sessions on arms control, disarmament, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; preventive peace and alternatives to war; and the role of the Church in addressing these issues.
To encourage a dialogue, the colloquium was limited to an invited group of bishops and their staff, policy experts, leaders of Catholic organizations, and academics.
Presenters included Maryann Cusimano Love, the Catholic University of America; Albert C. Pierce, the U.S. Naval Academy; Fr. John Langan, S.J., Georgetown University; Keith Pavlischek, U.S. Marine Corps; Frederick Fleitz, U.S. Department of State; John Steinbruner, University of Maryland; Douglas Roche, Holy See Delegation to the UN General Assembly; Pamela Aall, United States Institute of Peace; Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington; and Catherine Kelleher, Naval War College.
In addition to Bishop Ricard and Cardinal McCarrick, Bishop Thomas Wenski, the incoming chairman of the bishops' International Policy Committee, Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, and a number of other bishops participated in the event.
Gerard Powers of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, a co-sponsor of the colloquium, remarked: "The Kroc Institute was privileged to help convene a colloquium that provided bishops and lay experts from a range of backgrounds and perspectives a special opportunity to engage in a forward-looking dialogue about difficult issues of morality and policy."
Fr. John Langan, S.J., of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, the host of the event, added: "This intersection of public policy, ethics and Catholic principles applied in an increasingly pluralistic society is precisely the kind of discussion that we at Georgetown University are encouraging."
The Colloquium on Ethics of War after 9/11 and Iraq was sponsored by the Committee on International Policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in conjunction with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Mortara Center for International Studies, and Initiative on Religion, Politics and Peace, all at Georgetown University.
The discussion was off the record, but written presentations will be available, along with the agenda, at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/index.htm or http://www.nd.edu/~krocinst.