US Catholics urge bipartisan action for Iraq peace

By staff writers
November 18, 2006

US Catholics urge bipartisan action for Iraq peace

-18/11/06

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged both the main parties in the US Congress to fully cooperate with each other in trying to secure peace in Iraq - writes Cheryl Heckler for Ecumenical News International.

Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland for a twice-yearly national conference, the bishops urged the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress to set aside what they said was previously loud and superficial debate over the war and to work together in a frank assessment of how to best promote peace.

"We hope our nation has moved beyond the divisive rhetoric of the recent campaign and the shrill and shallow debate that distorts reality and reduces the options to 'cut and run' versus. 'stay the course'," said Bishop William Skylstad, president of the bishops' conference.

The main governing body of the US National Council of Churches (NCC), which groups Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches, had on 8 November 2006 called for "an immediate phased withdrawal of American and coalition forces from Iraq".

Skylstad's remarks came on the day President George W. Bush met with the Iraq Study Group, assembled by his administration, over its review of US options in the war. At the same time, Democrats have been pressuring the US leader to set a timetable for withdrawal of forces from Iraq.

The Vatican has condemned the war conducted by the US and its allies in Iraq since it began.

Separately, the 295-member-Catholic bishops' conference also approved funding for additional research regarding clergy sex abuse in the United States.

The research, to be conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will evaluate whether children have been victimised at a higher rate inside the church or in society at large. It also will examine how bishops responded to allegations of abuse in the past.

According to the college's previous studies for the bishops, Catholic clergy have been accused of molesting more than 12,000 young people since 1950. Dioceses have spent nearly 1.5 billion US dollars on abuse-related costs.

[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches]

US Catholics urge bipartisan action for Iraq peace

-18/11/06

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged both the main parties in the US Congress to fully cooperate with each other in trying to secure peace in Iraq - writes Cheryl Heckler for Ecumenical News International.

Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland for a twice-yearly national conference, the bishops urged the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress to set aside what they said was previously loud and superficial debate over the war and to work together in a frank assessment of how to best promote peace.

"We hope our nation has moved beyond the divisive rhetoric of the recent campaign and the shrill and shallow debate that distorts reality and reduces the options to 'cut and run' versus. 'stay the course'," said Bishop William Skylstad, president of the bishops' conference.

The main governing body of the US National Council of Churches (NCC), which groups Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches, had on 8 November 2006 called for "an immediate phased withdrawal of American and coalition forces from Iraq".

Skylstad's remarks came on the day President George W. Bush met with the Iraq Study Group, assembled by his administration, over its review of US options in the war. At the same time, Democrats have been pressuring the US leader to set a timetable for withdrawal of forces from Iraq.

The Vatican has condemned the war conducted by the US and its allies in Iraq since it began.

Separately, the 295-member-Catholic bishops' conference also approved funding for additional research regarding clergy sex abuse in the United States.

The research, to be conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will evaluate whether children have been victimised at a higher rate inside the church or in society at large. It also will examine how bishops responded to allegations of abuse in the past.

According to the college's previous studies for the bishops, Catholic clergy have been accused of molesting more than 12,000 young people since 1950. Dioceses have spent nearly 1.5 billion US dollars on abuse-related costs.

[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches]

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