A STUPID, UNJUST AND CRIMINAL WAR: 2001-2007
By Andrew Greeley Orbis Books, 215 pages, $19
Fr. Andrew Greeley’s place in history is secure as the priest sociologist whose groundbreaking work brought to the surface truths about the Catholic community that many would have preferred to remain hidden. Against that note of biography, then, it wouldn’t be surprising if his latest book, A Stupid, Unjust and Criminal War: 2001-2007, a collection of his newspaper columns opposing the Iraq war, received limited notice. Fr. Greeley, after all, is not on the circuit these days as a political or foreign policy expert.
He ought to be. In his role as columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, Greeley stands out as that rare, high-profile Catholic voice in the culture who uses the rich traditions of Catholic social justice teaching and the just-war tradition to call the U.S. action in Iraq into question. It is significant that he is no new convert to that position, persuaded because of the failure of the war effort. He was against the war and writing in opposition to it from the very start.