Bishop Pates of Des Moines wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, calling on him to “obtain a ceasefire” in Syria. From a news release by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):
August 30, 2013
Urges inclusive society that protects all citizens, including Christians and other minorities
Proposes impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance
Notes pope states that dialogue and negotiation stand as only solution
WASHINGTON—Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, called on Secretary of State John Kerry to work with other governments to “obtain a ceasefire” in Syria and create “a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom.”
Bishop Pates made the call in an August 29 letter to Secretary Kerry.
Bishop Pates addressed the Syrian crisis the same day Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Pope Francis met at the Vatican. There Pope Francis spoke of Syria’s “tragic situation” and said that “the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops previously had urged an end to violence in Syria.
“The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution that ends the fighting and creates a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom,” Bishop Pates said. “We ask the United States to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities.”
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