Pope Francis sent President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who is hosting the G20 summit, a letter:
“To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,” the Pope urged. “Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.”The Holy See declared
Saturday Sept. 7 would be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. The prayer rally will take place in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. to midnight, on the vigil of the birth of Mary, the Queen of Peace.On Monday, the pontiff tweeted:
War never again! Never again war!— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 2, 2013
How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 2, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to President Obama on September 4.
...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.Yesterday, September 5, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to each and every member of Congress.
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. 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...
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.
The Congressional resolution acknowledges that "the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement." A central moral question is: Will more or less lives and livelihoods be destroyed by military intervention? On this question Pope Francis has been clear: "How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed!" Instead of employing armed force, in this situation our nation, working with the international community, should direct all of its energies urgently and tirelessly toward dialogue and negotiation.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued an action alert to the American people.
Take Action Now!
Contact your two U.S. Senators and your Representative and urge them to vote against a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria. Instead, ask them to support U.S. leadership, in collaboration with the international community, for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, serious and inclusive negotiations for peace, and increased humanitarian assistance.