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Letter from Eight US Cardinals Urging President Slobodan Milosevic to Negotiate Peace

 

March 31, 1999

President Slobodan Milosevic
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge an immediate cessation of Serbian military and police operations against the population of Kosovo, and urge your government's cooperation in accord with international conventions, with those agencies wishing to provide emergency assistance to the population of Kosovo.

At the same time, we have written to President Clinton asking for a cessation of NATO bombing. We request the actions in solidarity with the Holy See's suggestions conveyed to your government on March 31, 1999.

Echoing the words of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II on Palm Sunday: "There is always time for peace. It is never too late to meet again and negotiate." Within the context of a Peace Conference involving the neighboring states and with the involvement of the United Nations, we are confident that it is not too late to arrive at a negotiated solution which will guarantee the populations of Kosovo a degree of autonomy which respects their legitimate aspirations, according to history and law.

The Catholic Church is in the midst of Holy Week. This Friday, we recall the suffering and death of Jesus. Sunday is Easter, the commemoration of Our Lord and Savior's Resurrection. Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on April 11. May this most holy of times in the Christian world be filled with thoughts and deeds of peace, not war.

To that end we pledge our prayers and support. We will make public this letter in an effort to influence public opinion.

Sincerely yours,

Bernard Cardinal Law
Archbishop of Boston

James Cardinal Hickey
Archbishop of Washington

John Cardinal O'Connor
Archbishop of New York

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Roger Cardinal Mahony
Archbishop of Los Angeles

Adam Cardinal Maida
Archbishop of Detroit

William Cardinal Keeler
Archbishop of Baltimore

Francis Cardinal George
Archbishop of Chicago



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