It is “very difficult” nowadays to speak of the possibility of a “just war,” Francis writes in his third and longest (45,000 words) encyclical Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All, October 4).
In footnote 242, he claims, “Saint Augustine, who forged a concept of ‘just war’ that we no longer uphold in our own day, also said that ‘it is a higher glory still to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword, and to procure or maintain peace by peace, not by war’.”
This is true, nevertheless, Augustine's just-war-criteria are objective and not subject to a lazy "we no longer uphold in our days."
In his lightweight encyclical, Francis mostly footnotes his own documents and messages, sometimes, he quotes post-conciliar popes or Thomas Aquinas.
Eight times, he refers to the erroneous Abu Dhabi document arguing that the encyclical develops "some of the great themes" raised therein.
Francis reiterates his private opinion that the death penalty "is inadmissible,” which again is false, and even claims that "there can be no stepping back from this [wrong] position."
He campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty and life imprisonment which he calls “a secret death penalty.” Both positions may be legitimate political positions, but politics should be kept out of an encyclical.
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Francis goes on and on about the death penalty, but he talks a lot like the people who loved the guillotine.