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December 27, 1989
Honorable James Baker
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I wish to transmit to you the two principal communiques issued by the Catholic bishops of Panama concerning the present crisis there. The message of December 22nd is a joint statement of the entire national episcopate, touching on the several consequences of the U.S. military action; that of December 27th is a communiqué of the Archbishop of Panama and his two auxiliary bishops and deals exclusively with the question of the Papal Nunciature.
I wish to bring to your attention these views which represent the authoritative expression of the Catholic Church in Panama. I urge their serious consideration by those in your Department charged with policy in this matter.
Let me stress just a single point from the December 22nd message, namely the grave urgency in ending the U.S. military occupation at the earliest possible date, thus enabling the Panamanian authorities to mend the torn fabric of Panamanian national sovereignty. The speedy and effective transfer of real power to the civilian authorities will contribute greatly to lifting the onus of occupation.
Finally, I would like to associate myself with the statement of Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls objecting to the harassment of the Nunciature by U.S. military forces and urge that it be stopped as soon as possible.
I thank you for your attention to these matters.
Reverend Monsignor Robert N. Lynch
General Secretary NCCB/USCC
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