WASHINGTON—Signing the Arms TradeTreaty is an "important step," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committeeon International Justice and Peace in a letter to Secretary of State JohnKerry. In his April 11 letter, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, urgedthe Obama administration to expedite a thorough review of the treaty so thePresident can sign it in early June.
"The Catholic Church has alongstanding commitment to protecting human life and dignity and supportingarms control as a means to this end," wrote Bishop Pates. "As a world leaderand a major arms exporter, our nation should set a positive example for othernations to follow in efforts to reduce the flow of weapons into situations thatviolate human rights and cause terrible suffering."
Bishop Pates said, during his owntravels in Sub-Saharan Africa, he encountered both religious and civil societyleaders who "repeatedly expressed profound concerns for the untold humansuffering" resulting from the unregulated flow of arms. He also cited the Vatican'spermanent observer to the United Nations, who called the adoption of the treaty"a step towards establishing in the world a culture of responsibility andaccountability."
The full text of the letter isavailable online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/arms-trade/upload/04-11-2013-letter-to-john-kerry-arms-trade-treaty.pdf
Keywords: International Justice and Peace, Arms TradeTreaty, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. bishops, BishopRichard E. Pates, Des Moines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sub-SaharanAfrica, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Permanent Observer of the Holy See tothe United Nations, Vatican, Secretary of State, John Kerry, President BarackObama, Obama administration
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email
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