Bishop Pates Commends Secretary of State Kerry for Signing Arms Trade Treaty, Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

October 7, 2013 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commended Secretary of State John Kerry for signing the Arms Trade Treaty. In an October 4 letter, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, also welcomed the move to enter into substantive negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program.

“The community of nations must regulate the international transfers of arms to save lives. Dialogue with Iran is essential to forge a peaceful way forward,” wrote Bishop Pates. He called the treaty an important step, adding “In solidarity visits to Latin America and African nations, Church and civil society leaders have frequently shared with me stories of the unimaginable human suffering that comes from the unregulated flow of arms.”

Bishop Pates wrote to Kerry in April, urging that the United States sign the Arms Trade Treaty. (

Bishop Pates reiterated the longstanding position of the Holy See and the U.S. bishops, that a diplomatic solution with Iran is preferable to military action, “which could have unpredictable and dramatic repercussions for the region.”

The full text of Bishop Pates’ letter is available online:
Keywords: Bishop Richard E. Pates, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretary of State, John Kerry, Arms Trade Treaty, Latin America, Africa, Catholic Church, Vatican, Iran, nuclear program, negotiations, diplomatic solution

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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206