Catholic World News

Cardinal Dolan urges President Obama to work for political solution to Syrian crisis

September 05, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged President Barack Obama in a September 4 letter to pursue a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Cardinal Dolan was joined in his appeal by Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace.

“We have heard the urgent calls of the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis, and our suffering brother bishops of the venerable and ancient Christian communities of the Middle East,” the prelates wrote. “As one, they beg the international community not to resort to military intervention in Syria. They have made it clear that a military attack will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation, and will have unintended negative consequences. Their concerns find a strong resonance in American public opinion that questions the wisdom of intervention and in the lack of international consensus.”

“We join you in your absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the prelates added. “These indiscriminate weapons have no place in the arsenals of the family of nations … At the same time, we remain profoundly concerned for the more than 100,000 Syrians who have lost their lives, the more than 2 million who have fled the country as refugees, and the more than 4 million within Syria who have been driven from their homes by the violence. Our focus is on the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria and on saving lives by ending the conflict, not fueling it.”

The prelates concluded:

We make our own the appeal of Pope Francis: “I exhort the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that country without further delay, a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people. May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries.”

The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution. We ask the United States to work urgently and tirelessly with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial humanitarian assistance, and encourage efforts to build an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities.

Please be assured of our prayers as your Administration faces the complex challenges and humanitarian catastrophe that have engulfed Syria.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 05, 2013 1:45 PM ET USA

    As the old Spanish dictum has it, "There is no one more deaf than the man who doesn't wish to hear." When it comes to this planned aggression against Syria, Obama is both deaf and blind. The only part of his communications apparatus that still works is his mouth, and that part is in overdrive.