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Statement on Aid to Nicaragua


Bishop Thomas C. Kelly
June 26, 1979 


Meeting in extraordinary session on the Nicaragua crisis, the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States have voted to reject any military intervention into that situation. We are grateful for the decision. On June 12, Archbishop John Quinn, speaking as President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops said that any suggestion of military intervention there, particularly by the United States, should be unthinkable and would be morally insupportable. 

We are also grateful for the role taken by Secretary Vance in calling for an end to the Somoza regime, a view earlier expressed by the bishops of Nicaragua. It is our prayerful hope that a provisional government may soon be allowed to build the needed framework for a new social and political structure. 

Through the dramatic coverage by the media in recent days as well as through direct appeals from the bishops and religious of Nicaragua, the United States Catholic Conference has become ever more conscious of the intense suffering which the Nicaraguan people, especially the poor and most defenseless, are experiencing at this moment--the loss of loved ones brutally killed, the sorrow of forced exile or flight to safe refuge, the pain of hunger and the gnawing anger at seeing their nation continue to be torn apart by civil strife. 

We express once more our profound sympathy with the suffering people and in a particular way with the bishops, priests, religious and lay leaders, many of whom have been subjected to unconscionable treatment by members of the National Guard. 

And we pledge to do everything possible to meet the emergency need for food and medicines requested of us by the Church in Nicaragua. The Nicaragua Emergency Fund which Catholic Relief Services has just established provides each of us in this country with a concrete way of responding to the critical needs of our suffering brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. 

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