The Vatican, known for calling on peace at just about all cost, is voicing support for military action in Iraq to protect Christians and other religious minorities from persecution by ISIS terrorist.
The Vatican released a letter Wednesday in which Pope Francis called on the international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway."
The day before the letter, the Pope also tweeted, "I ask the international community to protect all those suffering violence in Iraq," which seemed to set the table for the letter, and reinforce his blessing on the use of force in this terrible situation.
The Pope's comments followed even stronger and more clear words from the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva on Sunday. "Maybe military action is necessary at this moment," Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said in an interview with Vatican Radio.
This comes as a rare exception to military force, especially when contrast next to the Church's vocal disapproval of the use of force in 2003, and the use of airstrikes in Syria in 2013.
The Vatican's position is no doubt being made stronger as news of the ethnic cleansing of minorities, Christians included, comes pouring in from Iraq.
Christian leaders in Iraq have made it abundantly clear that the persecution is reaching genocidal levels, with urgent help needed to protect Christians, Yezidis, and the Kurdish minorities in the north of the country, where tens of thousands have been forced to flee for their lives.
Military support was needed "to stop the wolf getting to the flock to kill, eat, destroy", Rabban al-Qas, the Chaldean bishop of Amadiyah, told Vatican radio.
Also on Tuesday, The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue called for Muslim leaders to denounce the brutality of Islamic State militants, saying there was no possible justification for their "unspeakable crimes".
The council said these terrorist were guilty of the "heinous practice of decapitation, crucifixion and stringing up bodies in public places", pointing out that "no reason, certainly not religion, could justify such barbarism".
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the Just War Doctrine developed by St. Augustine of Hippo somewhere around 400 A.D., just war is allowed when "genocide, whether of a people, nation or ethnic minorities;" has or is taking place.
Father Jonathan Morris told Fox news that the use of force was "not a departure from" Catholic Doctrine, but "a stunning application from an age old policy."
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