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Bishop Daniel P. Reilly
January 14, 1994
I send you greetings and our prayer that the new year, which has begun with such drama and painful violence in your country, may yet be a time of peace and ever greater justice for all.
The events in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico have deeply touched us. We share your anguish over the loss of life brought about by the insurrection, especially the killings of innocent noncombatants. We are impressed by the role that the church has played and continues to play in denouncing the violence, in calling for dialogue and a political settlement of the conflict, and in defending human rights, especially the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable.
The careless accusations made by some against members of the clergy and religious, including the bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Don Samuel Ruiz Garcia, are deplorable. It is our hope that these charges have at last been laid to rest.
It is our hope as well that the recent actions by the civil authorities may result in new and effective efforts to address the basic issues of social justice that underlie the present crisis.
As our two countries develop ever closer ties of friendship and mutual understanding, I am sure you join me in praying that 1994 may truly become a year of grace for both our peoples.
As chairman of the Committee on International Policy of the U.S. Catholic Conference, I am happy to enclose a copy of a letter I have just sent to Archbishop Adolfo Suarez Rivera, president of the conference of the Mexican episcopate. The letter expresses the special concern of this conference over the recent events in Chiapas and our solidarity with the church and people of Mexico.
I want also to express my gratitude to the general secretariat of the Comision Episcopal de Pastoral Social for providing our conference with the documents that have been issued both by the CEPS and the permanent council of the bishops' conference. The timely communication of these statements has been of great value to us. Over the years our two conferences have joined in sharing views on such issues of mutual concern as the recently enacted free trade agreement, and we look forward to continuing collaboration.
May peace and true justice soon come to Chiapas. We join you in that prayer and renew our expression of support for all in the church, and especially in the Oaxaca ecclesiastical province, whose ministry to the poor has drawn the attention of the world.
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