Contrary to what Jim Wallis writes in "A Life of Moral Consistency" (Hearts & Minds, June 2005), Pope John Paul IIs "consistent ethic of life" wasnt that consistent. He believed that an unjust war doesnt have the same moral weight as abortion.
Even though the Roman Catholic Church doesnt claim that its teaching authority is infallible, in practice its definition of, and absolute rejection of, abortion in all situations is treated as infallible. War, on the other hand, no matter how unjust, is always just a matter of judgment. Even if the pope declares a war to be unjust, as John Paul declared Iraq to be, disagreement and debate with that part of the churchs teaching authority is permissible. Thus, John Pauls commitment to "peace" was not to be considered, even by him, as being on the same level as his commitment to "life."
Albany, New York