Washington D.C., Jul 2, 2013 / 12:13 pm (CNA).- In a letter to President Barack Obama, two leaders of the U.S. bishops voiced support for continued efforts towards nuclear disarmament, as well as peace between Israel and Palestine.
“In Berlin, you recently reiterated a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, a vision that the Catholic Church has long supported,” wrote Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Bishop Robert E. Pates of Des Moines in a June 25 letter. Cardinal Dolan is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, while Bishop Pates heads the conference’s Committee on International Justice and Peace. The two bishops recalled that Blessed Pope John XXIII pushed for an end to nuclear weapons across the globe in 1963. Twenty years later, the U.S. bishops’ conference issued a pastoral letter entitled “The Challenge of Peace,” which repeated the goal of nuclear disarmament. “Today, we again pledge support of U.S. efforts to achieve mutual reductions in the stockpiles of nuclear weapons, to adopt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation.” The bishops also stressed the importance of “vigorous leadership” by the U.S. in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They thanked the president for his trip to the Holy Land in March and for “charging Secretary of State John Kerry with the urgent task of bringing the parties to the negotiating table.” Reiterating their support for a two-state solution in the region, they promised their continued prayers for peace. “We know that many consider the conflict intractable, but we believe that peace is possible,” they said, encouraging “persistent U.S. leadership” and pledging their “untiring support.”