January 3, 1997
Pedro Miguel Lamport
Ambassador of Guatemala
2220 R Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
Among the notable events of the year just ended, perhaps none was more prayerfully desired nor more gratefully welcomed than the signing on December 29th of the accords to usher in a final and definitive peace in Guatemala. I rejoice and give thanks that the long decades of a fratricidal conflict have come to an end. When I visited your country several years ago as chairman of our Bishops Committee on Migration, I saw so clearly the longing of the Guatemalan people for peace.
As is well known, the U.S. government has often played a controversial role at many points in the affairs of your country, going back at least to the coup d'etat of 1954. Now, with the hoped for transition from an economy geared to war to one that seeks the well-being of all the Guatemalan people, we look forward to supporting strong efforts by the international community, and especially by the United States, to aid the process of peace and reconciliation that has now begun.
With congratulations to all who, from whatever side, have contributed to making possible the signing of the peace accords, and with assurance of our prayers for the success of the efforts of your Government, and of the Guatemalan people, to promote peace with justice, I am
+Theodore E. McCarrick
Archbishop of Newark
Chairman, USCC Committee on International Policy