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WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops send their “unconditional support to the Church in Nigeria” following the September 23 bombing of St. John’s Cathedral in Bauchi, according to a letter from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa to Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones in this attack and with the scores of others who were wounded,” Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Pates, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote in their September 25 letter. “We know that Christians and Muslims will strive to find the courage and the love to continue building right relationships that will promote peace. We hope that the perpetrators of violence and terror will be brought to justice.
They pledged the support of the U.S. bishops for the Church in Nigeria, citing the recent visit by Bishop Pates in his capacity as International Justice and Peace chairman, and noted that the bishops are organizing assistance for programs in Jos. Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates said they would also contact the U.S. State Department, urging them to intensify their support for efforts in Nigeria to “end these senseless attacks, to address the root causes of the violence, and to rebuild the social fabric of the country.
In a September 26 response, Archbishop Kaigama thanked the bishops for their solidarity and wrote that the Church in Nigeria is “consoled by your prayers and prompt expression of fraternal good wishes.
The full text of the letter from Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/dolan-pates-to-kaigama-nigeria-bombing-2012-09-25.pdf
Keywords: cathedral bombing, Nigeria, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop Richard Pates, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, International Justice and Peace, violence, Christians, Muslims, State Departmen
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