"I don't know if a Jesuit qualifies as "higher authority" but he's probably more likely to be right than a bunch of guys yakking on the web. One of the instances Father Hardon gives below (in his Pocket Catholic Dictionary), is almost exactly analogous to the discussion at WWWtW...
(Father Hardon then goes on to discuss the principle of double effect and gives the following example)
...the commander of a submarine in wartime who torpedoes an armed merchant vessel of the enemy., although he foresees that several innocent children on board will be killed.
(Father Hardon then states that the action is licit if) All four conditions are fulfilled :
- he intends to merely lessen the power of the enemy by destroying an armed merchant ship. He does not wish to kill the innocent children;
- his action of torpedoing the ship is not evil in itself;
- the evil effect (the death of the children) is not the cause of the good effect (the lessening of the enemy's strength);
- there is sufficient reason for permitting the evil effect to follow, and this reason is administering a damaging blow to those who are unjustly attacking his country.
Oh, and who was Father Hardon S.J. ?
The defence rests.
We praise God and not our strength for it.
Btw, Annonymous; good wine shall be drunk in your honour.