Bishop Pates: Make a 'Clear Stance Against Torture' : He urges release of Senate's report on CIA interrogations

To read the guide, visit http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/torture/torture-is-a-moral-issue.cfm

The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace said he welcomed the possible release of a Senate intelligence committee report that says the CIA used torture techniques in interrogating some terror suspects after 9/11.

"It is time for the United States to take a clear stance against torture. Release of the full report on CIA interrogation practices will help our country strengthen its moral credibility," said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, in an April 2 statement.

Advertisement

His statement was released the day before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify the summary and key findings of a 6,200-page report and make them available to the public.

He also was responding to a joint statement from two committee members, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, who said they would vote for declassifying the material.

Bishop Pates said Senate support for release of the report was needed to close a "shameful chapter" of U.S. history.

The bishop has sent numerous letters to the Senate committee urging the public release of its report. His most recent letter, dated March 17, said: "Only by acknowledging past practices can the United States move to regain the moral high ground as a protector and promoter of human rights."

For Catholics, torture is "an intrinsic evil" and cannot be justified under any circumstance, he said.

According to The Associated Press, Senate investigators who prepared the report and CIA officials are at odds about its contents.

Collins and King said even if they did not endorse all of the report's findings and "have some concerns about the process for developing the report," they thought it was important it be released. They said they "remain strongly opposed" to using torture techniques, calling them "fundamentally contrary to American values."

Following the committee vote, President Barack Obama must formally declassify it, then it will be released to the public.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, distributes ashes on Ash Wednesday at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston March 6, 2019. (CNS photo/James Ramos, Texas Catholic Herald)
It is expected that Cardinal DiNardo will remain hospitalized for several days.
Catholic News ServiceMarch 17, 2019
The new web series “Sunday to Sunday” identifies a series of case studies about preaching by listening to preachers in their own words and hearing samples of their efforts.  
Mike RussoMarch 16, 2019
The meeting between Pope Francis and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit "aimed at deepening relations between South Sudan and the Vatican."
Gerard O’ConnellMarch 16, 2019
Brazil is still reeling three days after 10 people were killed by two young men who assaulted a São Paulo suburban school on March 12.
Filipe DominguesMarch 15, 2019