Push for Peace

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, N.M., urged Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice to take renewed action to build on steps toward peace in the Middle East in separate letters on Jan 20. Bishop Cantú, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Secretary Kerry: “If peace talks are successful, the United States and the international community will need to provide robust assistance to help rebuild Syria so that refugees can return and the social fabric can be repaired.... Post-war desperation will only fuel renewed conflict and extremism.” In his letter to Rice, Bishop Cantú noted that his recent visit to Israel, Palestine and Jordan showed him that the status quo is “dangerous for both Israelis and Palestinians.” He also noted that the conflict has been harmful to the church in the Holy Land and that the situations in Gaza and the Cremisan Valley required urgent attention.

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