Bishop "breaks ranks" over war
A Church of England bishop expressed his support for the war yesterday, "breaking ranks" with most of his colleagues reports The Daily Telegraph.
The paper said that The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Rev Peter Forster, had given his backing to military action, saying it was morally and legally justifiable.
His statement echoed comments by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev John Oliver, this month that military action had become the least morally repugnant option.
Peter Forster was one of the Bishops who initially raised questions about the bombing of Afghanistan.
"However justified it might be, we ask the same question, where will it lead - will it put an end to terrorism, or just encourage more of it?" he had said during a visit to the Vatican in 2001.
Whilst he acknowledged that there are risks in taking action against Iraq, the Bishop said "there were greater risks in permitting the regime of Saddam Hussein to remain in power. The new situation justifies pre-emptive action."
The House of Bishops, in a unanimously agreed statement in January, said a conclusive case for military action had not been made.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, an opponent of war, told fellow Anglican archbishops yesterday: "We must pray that, whatever the many misgivings expressed, the military action may help to bring about a more stable future for the whole region, with justice for all."