The Most Rev. Edwin F. O’Brien, archbishop of the American Archdiocese for the Military Services, quoted St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine Sunday as he defined the term “just war” for Catholic and Christian members of the military and their families at the 13th annual Mass for military personnel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Mass, celebrated by the Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, bishop of Norwich, was celebrated in honor of U.S. National Guard members and reserves from all branches of the military.
Whether in Iraq or Afghanistan today, or in past wars, St. Augustine’s philosophy of “benevolent severity” is as necessary now as it was in the early centuries of Christianity, O’Brien said. The idea behind the phrase is that goodness can come, and at times can only come, out of violence that is used as a last resort to defend and protect others.
In his homily before a congregation of hundreds, O’Brien imagined what the Good Samaritan’s response might have been to the person he later helped, had he arrived 10 minutes earlier, while the victim was still being beaten.
“Would the Good Samaritan have had the option, and the obligation, to do what was necessary to put an end to that unjust oppression? To put an end to that threat?” O’Brien asked. [Source]
That is an interesting question on the parable of the Good Samaritan that I had not heard before. In other news, please play for our troops as the battle in Fallujah (Phantom Fury) has begun.