War on Iraq not justified, Canadian Anglican primate argues

January 21, 2003

A US-led invasion of Iraq at this time would fail to meet any of the theological tests by which war can be justified, Archbishop Michael Peers, the Canadian Anglican primate, said in a letter to church members.

The United States, Archbishop Peers says in the letter, has 'introduced a new and perilous set of criteria, justifying an invasion of Iraq based on the American desire for a 'regime change' and as a hedge against the possibility of damage to the American economy should Iraq attack the United States.'

While many Anglicans may not accept all of the principles the church applies to decide if a war is just, he adds, these principles 'provide more than enough reasons to oppose this war.'

Peers notes in his letter that in opposing a U.S. war on Iraq, the Anglican Church of Canada joins many other churches and religious organizations including the Canadian and World Councils of Churches, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church USA and the archbishop of Canterbury.

He invites Canadian Anglicans to participate 'in the international and ecumenical consensus opposing an invasion of Iraq.'

The text of Peers' statement is available at http://anglican.ca/news/ans/ans.html?ansItem=2003-01-21_a.ans.