September 11 and International Law, by Benjamin J. Urmston SJ

During the Second World War, I was in Patton?s Third Army in Europe. I emerged from the war certain there had to be a better way to deal with threats to our security. I chose the Society of Jesus as a way to connect my faith with my desire for a more peaceful and just world. Fifty-six years later I am convinced that democratic international law is an essential ingredient of a vision for peace. The first act of the US Revolution began in 1776. I think it remains for us to write the second act and perform it. ?Just as the time has finally come when in individual states, a system of private vendetta and reprisal has given way to the rule of law, so too a similar step forward is now urgently needed in the international community.? (Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus No. 52). This second act would truly bring liberty and justice for all, for each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. The second act would be non-violent, courageous, imaginative, comprehensive, and in accordance with law. On September 11th, let us use the best in American patriotism to speak for the revolutionary values of each human person endowed by God with inalienable rights. Relying on the spiritual discernment of St. Ignatius, let us shed our massive self-deception. Let us trust not in military over-kill and a diminution of our civil liberties, but in God?s plan for us, global peace with global justice through global law. [HL20906]