Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Pacem In Terris" at 50

Earlier this month, Bishop Richard Pates, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, discussed Solidarity and U.S. Foreign Policy at the “Peacebuilding 2013: Pacem In Terris at 50” Conference at the Catholic University of America. He addressed several situations in the world.
Our Conference of Bishops has repeatedly made solidarity visits to the Holy Land. We have heard and made our own the narratives of both Israelis and Palestinians. Both parties do need to put themselves in one another’s shoes. Based on the best interests of each nation our country needs to do the same.
U.S. policy has to be based on holding both parties accountable for the mutual steps needed for a just peace. It requires a position that takes no sides but calls for the resolution of problems that are evident. There is plenty of blame to be addressed on each side.
Palestinians must promote security by halting attacks on civilians, blocking illegal arms shipments and disarming militias, and improve governance and transparency to build capacity for a future state. They need to disavow clearly and forever their radical ranks who have proposed the destruction of Israel.
Israel needs to freeze immediately expansion of settlements, withdraw “illegal outposts,” ease movement for Palestinians by reducing military check points, and refrain from disproportionate military responses. The city of Jerusalem is sacred to the three principal representative faiths. It calls for an international character that respects and facilitates free access for adherents to the three religions, all of whom have a stake in this sacred ground.
Lasting peace is built on justice for both peoples. . . .
The entire speech is here.

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