What follows is the letter addressed to the Secretary of State in it’s entirety.
Dear Secretary Kerry:
Today Pope Francis met with King Abdullah II of Jordan. Regarding their meeting, the Holy See reported: “Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed 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.”
With the Holy Father, we abhor the “acts of atrocity” that he decried in the wake of the attack with chemical weapons. We make our own his admonition: May the “clash of weapons…be silenced. It is not conflict that offers prospects of hope for solving problems, but rather the capacity for encounter and dialogue.”
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. 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.
Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
You know, there was a time when we gave credence to, and actively pursued, peaceful solutions to conflicts we weren’t directly involved in. As a Marine buddy of mine, who stood watch with me while guarding our Embassy in Cairo, put it recently,
I remember a time when the US worked with the UN to send a peacekeeping force to a place like Syria.
Now we go to the UN for permission to drop bombs in support of radical Islamic terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda.
My how things have changed.
Yes, those were halcyon times. But the risks of another Beirut barracks explosion, or of our pilots being dragged though the streets of Somalia, seem too dear a price for us to pay nowadays. Still, why use diplomacy, send humanitarian aide to refugees, etc. when we could just do this?
Remember how well that worked out, for the Iraqi people and for us?
Pray that we come to our senses, and take the advice of Bishop Pates, Pope Francis, and the large numbers of US citizens who are not in favor of making things worse in an already smoldering powder keg.
David French on why it’s better to do nothing than doing what the US has planned.