I know of the situation in Kosovo and its surroundings only from the media and from a few eyewitnesses. I have obviously been privy to no high or low-level conferences with any authorities in NATO or in our own government. But from what I have been able to discern, it is enormously difficult for me to feel assured that the prosecution of this "war" meets the requirements of "Just War" teaching. I prescind completely from imputing motives to anyone in government. I merely try to weigh the same basic information available to everyone in the United States against the conditions required to "justify" a war or any serious armed conflict. Those conditions are not highly complex or exotic. They are spelled out with remarkable brevity in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I present them here so that no one need accept my opinion about the current conflict, but may weigh what is reported against what is printed below, then make his or her own judgment in conscience.
Avoiding war: 2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.
2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed."
2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
2310 Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.
Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.
2311 Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged to serve the human community in some other way.
2312 The church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties."
2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.
Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.
2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons - especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes. [2307-2314]
In my judgment, it simply will not do to argue, as many sincere people have been arguing, that one must not permit tyranny to prevail, or that one must come to the defense of those being brutalized. Nor will it do to argue that Kosovo is, in minuscule form reminiscent of the Holocaust. Nor is the issue the huge number of refugees, homeless and other displaced persons. Nor is the question one of a barbaric threat to all of Europe. Every such argument may be valid, but does any one of them, or do all the arguments collectively justify the bombing? What is happening is horrifying and barbaric, and only the cruelest of the cruel could ignore what we are reading in the press and seeing on television. Whose heart does not weep? But for me, it is difficult to see how a single one of these issues satisfactorily answers the question of why we seem to be virtually obliterating a country. Does the massive bombing in which we are engaged meet the criterion that "the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated"? Does it meet the criterion, "there must be serious prospects of success"? (I saw a provocative headline the other day to the effect that after a month of bombing, NATO is not winning and Milosevic is not losing.) Can we say with integrity that the kind of bombing in which we are apparently engaged includes only "surgical strikes", without serious danger of indiscriminate destruction, including the deaths of innocent human beings?
I can but hope and pray that governments of the United States and NATO countries are seriously asking themselves such questions. Is it sufficient to say to the world at large, "Trust us"? Is it adequate to tell us, "Sit tight; we promise you the bombing will have its effect if we continue it for a long enough period of time"? Can "collateral damage" be dismissed with an apology, or as a necessary consequence to the use of armed force?
Finally, while I applaud welcoming refugees to the United States and wish we would impose no limits on the numbers, are we going to be prepared to repatriate everyone who wants to be repatriated, to help rebuild homes and other property, to repair whatever infrastructure or means of economic production have been destroyed? Despite 27 years of serving with the United States Navy and Marine Corps, I am neither a strategist nor a tactician, and I am certainly far from being a governmental decision-maker. But I am a moralist. It is immoral for a moralist not to ask questions about morality. Such question-asking may be construed by some as a lack of patriotism or a callous indifference to the plight of the refugees and other victims of the Milosevic reported cruelties. So be it. As the United States Marines have advertised so effectively, "Nobody ever promised me a rose garden."
I desire for all the world to know how saddened is My Sacred Heart, which shed Its last drop of blood for the redemption of mankind, because It is your Refuge; It is Mercy; and you do not believe nor trust in Me, your God.
In these days how many of My little ones look to the heavens! They look to "see" with their human eyes the celestial event which is occurring on the planet you call Jupiter. Very, very few look to the Heavens for Me; very few even recognize it as My domain.
In vain do they look who look only out of curiosity, who seek only to "learn" about My Creation, only to explain it in fallible, finite terms.
Of what use is such knowledge, My children, if you do not allow it to lead you to Me, Who set the solar systems in place, who created all the Universe and established therein perfect order?
All creation, except man, is obedient to Me. My perfect order is intact, unless I permit otherwise. Nothing happens unless I permit it to happen.
Therefore, I solemnly tell you: This celestial event is truly a sign I have chosen to give! Yes, it is a warning, but not the Great Warning. The latter event is coming soon, and by this present sign I permit those of open, loving heart to recognize the Power of My Hand.
Your scientists' theories are, at best, very limited and therefore of no value to you who seek Me.
I, your Lord and Savior do solemnly tell you that the effects of the comet striking Jupiter will be far-reaching throughout the universe, and its effects will begin to be observed on earth in a short time. The comet which strikes Jupiter with more force than all the weapons of every nation combined, will ripple throughout the vast universe, and I permit this to fulfill Sacred Scripture, for the words of Scripture tell you of signs in the heavens and on earth. This event is one of many. It is meant to alert all of My children that they live in the end times. It will begin a chain of events which will cause every nation on earth to tremble, to weep. Where streets are now awash in the blood of slaughtered people, so shall the streets be awash in tears as the Year of Tears, the River of Sorrows continues and intensifies.
My children, I am your God. You must choose now. You are either for Me, or against Me. You cannot take a lukewarm, neutral position. I call ceaselessly to all. My Spirit is upon the earth and through My Spirit I call all to deep holiness in their lives.
O! When shall your slumbering souls awaken? When shall you believe in My words and the words of My Mother.
Be assured, My children, great chastisements are coming to every nation. All who love Me shall suffer, but by their sufferings I will pour out My Mercy before the Hour of Great Justice.
Woe to all who by their blind pride, ego and self will deny My Will.
If you would come to Me then you must come as humble little children who are obedient in all things. My Heart overflows with Love for you. Please heed My Words.
Your "star-gazing" is a form of entertainment. My Will is to warn you of all that is coming.
Pray much, My children, and convert your hearts.
I love you! I bless you! Recall My Words: "For the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." Be alert and watchful, and I will be your All!
In these critical days, my children, you must be diligent in the practice of virtue and thereby attain great holiness, imitate my Divine Son and His Most Sacred Heart. Recall the words my Divine Son spoke: "For I am meek and humble of heart."
Do you think God does not see your tears, your pain? It is His Most Perfect Will that life be a path of suffering turned to joy. Is that not the path He chose for His Only-begotten Son? Are you then to do less? Are you practicing virtue when you will for yourself a life of pleasure, of ease, of escape from your duties? Little children, I solemnly tell you that the world is truly in the end times for never before in the history of mankind has man been filled with such self-seeking. This is pride. It leads to bitterness, anger and jealousy. It leads you to judge harshly your neighbor, and thus your world is truly a River of Tears and Sorrows.
Where is there a nation who places God above all else? Where has the evil one not penetrated?
I, your Mother, beseech you to place upon yourselves the garments of humility, of meekness. Do not seek for yourself. Seek God first, and only then can you reach out in true love toward your neighbor. In these end times you must live the Gospel. Do good to all even those who are against you. Seek Mercy for all, and pray daily at the Hour of Great Mercy that the Cup of Mercy shall be poured out and received before the time of the Father's Justice.
Pray. Pray the Rosary. Meditate on Sacred Scripture and go to Holy Mass where you receive True Food and Drink. Immerse yourselves in the Love of my Son's Sacred Heart, and let all bitterness go.
I love and bless you. I, your Mother will help you for the time is now critical. Thank you for responding to my Call!