Print | Share | Calendar | Diocesan Locator
|   No Spanish version at this time
FOLLOW US  Click to go to Facebook.  Click to go to Twitter.  Click to go to YouTube.   TEXT SIZE Click to make text small. Click for medium-sized text. Click to make text large.  
 

Catholic Bishops’ Policy Chair Urges Secretary Kerry To Work For Ceasefire, Serious Negotiations In Syria

 
August 30, 2013

Urges inclusive society that protects all citizens, including Christians and other minorities
Proposes impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance
Notes pope states that dialogue and negotiation stand as only solution

WASHINGTON—Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, called on Secretary of State John Kerry to work with other governments to "obtain a ceasefire" in Syria and create "a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom."

Bishop Pates made the call in an August 29 letter to Secretary Kerry.

Bishop Pates addressed the Syrian crisis the same day Jordan's King Abdullah II and Pope Francis met at the Vatican. There Pope Francis spoke of Syria's "tragic situation" and said that "the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population." The letter can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/syria/upload/letter-to-secretary-kerry-regarding-syria-2013-08-29.pdf

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops previously had urged an end to violence in Syria.

"The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution that ends the fighting and creates a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom," Bishop Pates said. "We ask the United States to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities."

The entire letter follows.

Dear Secretary Kerry:

Today Pope Francis met with King Abdullah II of Jordan.Regarding their meeting, the Holy See reported:"Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population."

With the Holy Father, we abhor the "acts of atrocity" that he decried in the wake of the attack with chemical weapons.We make our own his admonition: May the "clash of weapons…be silenced.It is not conflict that offers prospects of hope for solving problems, but rather the capacity for encounter and dialogue."

The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution that ends the fighting and creates a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom.We ask the United States to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

---

Keywords: Bishop Richard Pates, Secretary of State John Kerry, Pope Francis, Syria, King Abdullah II, Jordan, U.S. Bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, violence, ceasefire

# # # # #

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:
Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
O: 202-541-3200
M: 301-325-7935



By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. By providing this link, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, the website, its content, or sponsoring organizations.

cancel  continue