Sunday, April 20, 2008

counterculture: war, the pope, merton

The newspapers are reporting that the Pope is jarring the faithful with his word “countercultural”. I applaud Benedict. Counterculture is the very foundation of Christianity – opposing the commonly held values and behavior of society. Like exploiting the poor, accumulating wealth, killing our unborn and our prisoners.

But I wish that Benedict could be clearer and more specific about the climate of war that is unabashedly promoted and justified in our world.

In his “Cold War Letters”, Merton also regretted the absence of a clear statement from the Vatican on war:

One would certainly wish that the Catholic position on nuclear war was held as strict as the Catholic position on birth control. It seems a little strange that we are so wildly exercised about the “murder” (and the word is of course correct) of an unborn infant by abortion, or even the prevention of conception which is hardly murder, and yet accept without a qualm the extermination of millions of helpless and innocent adults, some of whom may be Christians and even our friends rather than our enemies. I submit that we ought to fulfill the one without omitting the other. (Cold War Letters, page 19)


  1. Daniel Berrigan :
    "they are two sides of the same coin" (abortion and nuclear weaponry)

  2. It all seems like the same issue to me - the sacredness of life. And don't forget Capital Punishment!



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