Now... and here's the "hot-button issue" ... is war always and everywhere (intrinsically) evil?
We have to respond, no.
And he quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2309, then goes on.
Which brings us to the current urgent debate on the war in Iraq. Thoughtful voices can be heard on both sides, one maintaining that American initiatives in Iraq are morally licit and meet the classical requirements of a "just war," the other holding that our military action there is not only a political disaster but clearly immoral.
Sounds like a matter of what is referred to as prudential judgment.
It must be stated that the voices of Pope John Paul II and of Benedict XVI (both as pontiff and as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), as well as of the bishops of the United States, strongly and consistently question the wisdom and morality of this current war.
Sure, but we see the prudential judgment of our bishops barely acknowledged when our priests are of a different opinion. So why should we expect lay people to see the bishops' judgments as significant when our pastors don't?