Monday, March 03, 2008

A letter to Holy Father

A Letter to Pope Benedict XVI
2008-03-02 | A group of concerned people of many faiths, who support Pope Benedict's public statements in opposition to the Iraq war, are encouraging him to confront President Bush on the matter during the Pope's scheduled April visit to the United States. Their letter to the Pope reads as follows.

If you would like your name added, please send it to me in the form that you would like it to appear. Include whatever other forms of identification you deem appropriate, e.g., organization, vocation, position.

Also feel free to circulate it to others who might be interested with the instruction to reply to me at by March 4.

in peace,

Stephen Kobasa

To His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Most Holy Father:

In your own words, "today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'." Yet, during your upcoming visit to the United States, you are planning to meet with President George W. Bush, whose empty justifications for the violence in Iraq lead to increasing numbers of dead, injured and displaced people. Iraqi civilians still endure the "continual slaughter" which you described in your 2007 Easter Sunday address.

Shortly before the U.S. invaded Iraq, you rightly declared that "there were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war." You've also called attention to the terrible new technologies which cause indiscriminate destruction. Five years later, how much more reason you have to call for an immediate end to this war, and to refuse to meet with the President of the United States until that is accomplished.

If you kneel in grief and outrage before the cross of the tortured Christ, can you offer your blessing to a head of government who excuses the most terrible abuses of human minds and bodies as "legal"?

If meet with him you must, then meet as a prophet should - issuing a warning and an invitation to repentance. Courtesy cannot be used as an evasion of our biblical faith. Ezekiel was repeatedly reminded of his responsibility to admonish those doing evil if he desired to escape sharing in the responsibility for their sins. Shouldn't any of us who recognize the horror of what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan be condemned if we are silent?

You are scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of your birth. We feel sure that you will be thinking of the countless children of Iraq who never reached their fifth birthday. In 2005 alone, 122,000 Iraqi children under age five died. There are many, both within the Church and outside of it, who long for your voice to speak for those innocent dead and - face to face with those whose policies denied all respect for their lives - demand that the killing stop.

We are, in faithful hope (among the 882 signatures gathered as of March 1)

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit
Kathy Boylan, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker
Stephen Vincent Kobasa
Kathy Kelly
Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
Dave Robinson, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
Marie Dennis, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Rev. John Dear, S.J.
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Bruce Martin Russett, Dean Acheson Professor of International Relations, Yale University; Principal Advisor to the United States Catholic Bishops for The Challenge of Peace (1983)
Joan Chittister, OSB, Co-Chair, Women's Global Peace Initiative; Co-Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives
Ray McGovern
Bill Quigley, Loyola University, New Orleans
Msgr. Edward Pfeffer, retd., Diocese of Des Moines
Dr. Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Dept. of political science, Notre Dame University
Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Emeritus, Temple Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills,CA
Cynthia Russett, Larned Professor of History, Yale University
Harold W. Attridge, Dean, Yale Divinity School
Rev. Alice de V. Perry, Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, Board of Directors, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
S. Joellen Sbrissa, CSJ, Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, Congregation of St. Joseph
S. Patricia Schlosser, OSF
Pio Celestino, Refugio del Rio Grande, Texas, EE.UU.
Shelley and Jim Douglass, Mary's House, Birmingham, AL
Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, Saints Francis and Therese Catholic
Worker, Worcester, Massachusetts
Elizabeth Griswold, Harvard Divinity School
Sister Karen Nykiel, O.S.B., Illinois State Coordinator, Pax Christi USA
Joe Morton, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Goucher College
Dr. Aurolyn Luykx, University of Texas at El Paso
Fr. Vincent Petersen OFM Conv., San Antonio Catholic Church, El Paso, Texas
Fr. Jim Hoffman, OFM, Director, Sacred Heart Province JPIC Office, IL
Eileen White, GNSH, for the Grey Nun Social Justice Group
Rev. Robert Dueweke, OSA, Theologian
Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry
Lorraine Lynch Nagy
Thomas J. Nagy
Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Father Joseph E. Mulligan, S.J., Christian Base Communities of Nicaragua
Arthur Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, D.C.
Gabe Huck, Theresa Kubasak, Iraqi Student Project, Damascus, Syria
Robert L. Davis, Retired Deputy Asst. Secy., US Department of Labor

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