May 21, 2014
WASHINGTON—In a May 20 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, 33 religious leaders, including present and past heads of Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations, said “the time for Israeli-Palestinian peace is now,” and that “achieving peace needs your continued, determined engagement.” Signers included Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington.
The letter comes just ahead of Pope Francis’ May 24-26 visit to the Holy Land, during which he plans to pray for peace.
“A two-state agreement in which both peoples will live in peace, security, and mutual recognition represents the only realistic resolution of the conflict,” the letter said. “Over time, developments on the ground and failures of leadership are making that goal more difficult to achieve.”
The signers noted their united support for Kerry’s “commitment to achieve peace, drawing on benchmark principles and practical ideas from previous official and informal negotiations that offer possible compromises to resolve all issues in the conflict.”
They also assured Kerry that they “continue to be committed to mobilizing public support of our members in synagogues, churches, and mosques across the country for your efforts,” and requested a meeting at an appropriate time “to discuss ways we can help.”
The full text of the letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/upload/nili-letter-to-secretary-kerry-on-israeli-palestinian-peace-negotiations-2014-05-20.pdf
Keywords: Holy Land, peace, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, International Justice and Peace, Bishop Richard E. Pates, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Pope Francis, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, interreligious, Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel, Palestine, National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East