DIOCESE OF DES MOINES
Bishop Pates among religious leaders calling on Obama Administration to make peace in the Middle East a priority
Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates, in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, is among the 30 American Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders who warned today that "twilight has fallen on the possibility of a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The religious leaders called for "a bold new U.S. initiative for a two-state peace agreement before it is too late."
This is not the first time Bishop Pates has spoken out on the need for a two-state peace agreement. On Jan. 10, he along with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama. "The failure to achieve peace continues to take a heavy toll on both Israelis and Palestinians, and especially on the indigenous ancient Christian community of the Holy Land that is emigrating at alarming rates," they wrote. They urged ongoing leadership, saying the United States "is posed, in our estimation, to be the most effective arbiter in this tangled situation that portends enormous risk for the world."
Today's statement was issued by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East. In addition to Bishop Pates, those signing today's statement include Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Rabbi David Sapperstein and Dr. Sayyid Syeed. The leaders of the leadership initiative pledged to mobilize strong public support for bold, determined U.S. leadership for peace in churches, synagogues and mosques across the country.
They acknowledged the daunting challenges of leading the effort for peace, but said, "we believe a bold new initiative for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement should be an immediate priority of the Obama Administration in 2013. We fear the opportunity for a peaceful resolution is rapidly waning and the current stagnation encourages the rejectionists on both sides."
To see the full statement, and list of those who endorsed the statement, go to http://www.dmdiocese.org/usccb-committee-on-international-justice-and-peace.cfm or call Ron Young at 425-327-7545.
The Diocese of Des Moines includes 81 parishes in 23 counties
in central and southwest Iowa.
(Contact: Anne Marie Cox (515) 237-5057, firstname.lastname@example.org)