Letter to Episcopal Conference of Peru on Threats to Bishops and Well-being of Bishop Turley, September 12, 2007
Most Rev. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M.
Archbishop of Trujillo
President, Episcopal Conference of Peru
As President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I send you fraternal greetings.
I write to express our concern about the safety and well-being of Bishop Daniel S. Turley, O.S.A. of Chulucanas. Our Conference has noted recent reports of Bishop Turley being the object of death threats against him. It is deeply troubling that any bishop, especially one as well known and respected as he is, should be subjected to such threats.
Bishop Turley is a native of Chicago, Illinois, but has spent most of his ministry in Peru. Only last year, Bishop Turley addressed our Committee on International Policy to share his concerns regarding the impact of the mining sector on vulnerable populations within Peru. His witness and presence made a considerable contribution to our understanding of these issues.
As you know well, Bishop Turley is very highly regarded for his defense of the rights of all people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. He is also well known for seeking peaceful solutions to situations of tension, promoting dialogue and participation as ways to resolve difficulties. As a member of the Social Action Commission (CEAS) of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference responsible for the theme of Environment within the work of the Commission, Bishop Turley has stood in solidarity with the country's campesinos, including those whose basic rights and livelihoods may be endangered by the actions of mining companies that do not take fully into account the human and environmental costs of their operations.
I would be grateful, Your Excellency, if you would communicate our fraternal concerns to Bishop Turley and others who may be involved in this difficult situation.
With assurances of our prayerful solidarity with you and the entire Church in Peru, I remain
Fraternally yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend William S. Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane