U.S. Bishops OK Document on Terror War

Acknowledge Nation´s Right to Use Force

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WASHINGTON, D.C, NOV. 15, 2001 (Zenit.org). U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a statement acknowledging the United States´ right to use military force against international terrorism, the Associated Press reported. They also called for an end to economic sanctions against Iraq.

Terrorism can never be justified, the bishops said. They added, however, that poverty, human rights abuse and violence generate resentment that terrorists can exploit.

To promote peace, world leaders should halt economic sanctions against Iraq and help end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while more fairly spreading the benefits of globalization, the bishops said.

They voted 167-4 for the document. «It offers a moral framework, not a long series of specific judgments,´´ said Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, who led the panel that wrote the document. «It lifts up key challenges but it does not seek to answer all the questions.´´

The vote came on the last day of the bishops´ four-day meeting. On Wednesday, the conference renewed its fight against abortion and expressed concern for the plight of Africans.

«The United States must not write off Africa as having little relevance to our strategic priorities but rather must embrace a broader vision of our nation´s interest in, and obligation to, the world´s poorest continent,´´ the bishops said in their proclamation.

The bishops also approved amendments to canon law outlining when laymen can preach in church. The changes were first proposed two years ago. The Vatican still must approve any revisions.

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