Leaders of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB) have issued a statement on Wednesday calling for a return to peace amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States.
In their statement, USCCB President Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford urged “that all parties, in these critical days, embrace peace rather than violence.”
“Peace has been all too elusive – in recent memory alone, war has caused hundreds of thousands of lives to be lost, as well as untold suffering and endemic instability,” the bishops noted.
In particular, the USCCB leaders underscored “growing acts of violence in recent weeks, most recently with the attack on the United States Embassy in Iraq, the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last Friday, and the missile attacks on Iraqi bases yesterday.”
“We have called for necessary diplomacy, courageous dialogue, and tireless efforts toward peace to resolve such global conflicts. We do so now, and we will do so always,” they stated.
“May the Lord help all parties in this time of growing belligerence to peer through one another’s transgressions and appreciate the legitimate fears that lie behind them,” the bishops declared. “All must discover islands of trust in a sea of distrust, do the hard work of reasoning together, acknowledge the futility of further violence and military action, and humbly pursue the common good together.”
“We join in the hope expressed today that the people of Iran share in the promise of a great future, and that the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” they added. “In this spirit, we fervently believe, hope, work for, and indeed anticipate, days of peace ahead.”
In a separate statement, the USCCB president called for prayers for peace in the region.
“In the face of the escalating tensions with Iran, we must pray urgently that our world’s leaders will pursue dialogue and seek peace,” Archbishop Gomez said. “Please join me in asking our Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace, to intercede, that Jesus Christ might strengthen the peacemakers, comfort the suffering, and protect the innocent and all those in harm’s way, especially the men and women in our military and diplomatic service.”