Photo credit Justin Sutcliffe
In an interview published by The Telegraph, Canon Andrew White talks about a wide range of topics, from his ministry in Iraq, to living with multiple sclerosis, and most notably about his attempts to reach out to ISIS last year as they threatened to invade Baghdad.
In his extraordinary life, White has mediated violent conflicts around the world, meeting with extremists, warlords, and terrorists to try and resolve problems without violence. Despite his history in peaceful work, White believes that the situation in Iraq can only be solved at this juncture by an increase in military action in concert with peaceful outreach.
From the interview:
But surely there is only one logical conclusion to be drawn? He sighs, and answers slowly. “You are asking me how we can deal radically with Isis. The only answer is to radically destroy them. I don’t think we can do it by dropping bombs. We have got to bring about real change. It is a terrible thing to say as a priest.
“You’re probably thinking, ‘So you’re telling me there should be war?’ Yes!”
I am shocked by his answer, because this is a man who has risked his life many times to bring peace.
“It really hurts. I have tried so hard. I will do anything to save life and bring about tranquility, and here I am forced by death and destruction to say there should be war.”
The entire interview is available at The Telegraph, with more details about White’s life, the toll his ministry takes on his family, and a portrait of a slightly eccentric, charming, and incredibly committed priest.
While White is obviously in a unique position to express his opinions on ISIS and Iraq, do you think it’s ever appropriate for a priest to advocate for war, even with reservations? What do you make of his comments considering the current political climate in England, and English reservations to commit to overseas wars?