Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, commended President Barack Obama for his leadership on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and Israeli-Palestinian peace, issues “of deep concern to the Catholic Church.”
“We know both issues remain challenging, appreciate your leadership in tackling them and offer our prayerful support,” wrote Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates, in a letter dated Tuesday.
They pledged their support to U.S. efforts to achieve mutual reductions in stockpiles of nuclear weapons, to adopt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation. They also thanked the President for traveling to the Holy Land in March and for charging Secretary of State John Kerry with the task of bringing both parties to the negotiating table. Kerry travels today to the Holy Land to discuss peace between Israel and Palestine.
“We know that many consider the conflict intractable, but we believe that peace is possible,” wrote Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates.
They echoed the Easter prayer of Pope Francis: “Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long.”
The full text of the letter is available online: