The European bishops to the United Nations: stop the cycle of violence in Iraq

Wednesday, 13 August 2014, 16:11
The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences has sent a letter signed by the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences from the entire continent members of CCEE to the United Nations Security Council.

In it the bishops call on the international community to take urgent “decisions to put an end to the atrocious actions against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq”. A copy of this letter will be handed over to different European governments and European Union authorities that they might join in this appeal.

The European bishops hope that other institutional, cultural and religious bodies might join in this initiative condemning what is happening in this violation of the right to life, security and religious freedom.

It is urgent – the prelates state – to undertake concrete humanitarian steps to respond to the desperate situation of the Iraqi Christians and hope that “in this case, too, the international community may be able to respond with rapid assistance to the many refugees and guarantee their security in returning to their cities and homes”.

The Catholic Church in Europe wishes to express its closeness to all those who are experiencing moments of fear and terror. It is committed to carrying out gestures of solidarity which are already underway to support the suffering peoples and families. The bishops assure them of their prayers for peace and with great dedication raise their voices in calling on the United Nations to act with the necessary urgency on behalf of these and all the other victims of war and violence who are suffering and awaiting the world’s solidarity.

Attached is the full text of the letter and list of signatories.   

Press service CCEE

 

 

St. Gallen, 12th August 2014
To the members of the Security Council of the United Nations
Excellencies,
The situation of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq is totally
unacceptable. The defense and protection of the Human Rights of these peoples and the
survival of their communities are urgent and obvious. The International Community is
called to put a stop to this tragedy with every possible, legitimate means.
We European Bishops, expressing also the sentiment of our faithful, request that
the Security Council of the United Nations take those decisions that would stop these
acts of atrocity as thousands of persons are dying or killed or forced to abandon their
homes because of their religious affiliation.
The Secretary General of the United Nations and much of the world opinion have
expressed their clear rejection of what is happening in Northern Iraq. It is urgent to
take some concrete humanitarian measures to answer the plight of children, of women,
of elderly and of many persons who have lost everything to escape death and who now
risk dying of thirst and hunger.
In recent years much has been done to understand the responsibility of the
International Community in safeguarding human rights, especially the right to life of
innocent people, the right to security and the right of freedom of religion. We hope that
even in the present case the International Community will be able to respond with
urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as enabling their safe return to
their cities and their homes.
The tragedy unfolding in Northern Iraq, not only endangers multicultural
coexistence that is part of our globalized world, but it is also a risk for Christians in a
region where they have lived since the earliest years of Christianity and whose
presence is appreciated and necessary for regional and world peace.
With our appeal, we join the Holy Father Pope Francis who in recent days has
continuously called on the international community to bring concrete assistance to
people in danger and to do its utmost to stop this infernal circle of violence.
The Catholic Church in Europe is close to all who have been obliged to escape
from their homes or are living moments of fear and terror. It is concretely committed to
solidarity with them through initiatives already underway. Without a decisive
commitment of the International Community and the Iraqi authorities, however, these
efforts will not succeed in resolving the problem.CCEE page 2 of 4
Let us hope that the Security Council of the United Nations, whose purpose is to
ensure international peace and security and to promote human rights, may be
unwavering in its determination to reach this goal. We ask you, therefore, to act with
the necessary urgency for these, and all victims of war and violence, that are suffering
and awaiting the solidarity of the world.
Yours faithfully,
Cardinal Péter ERDÖ, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference 
of Hungary and President of CCEE
Cardinal Angelo BAGNASCO, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference 
of Italy and Vice-President of CCEE
Cardinal Reinhard MARX,
President of the Bishops' Conference of the Germany
President of the COMECE
Cardinal Seán BRADY,
President of the Bishops' Conference of Ireland
Cardinal Dominik DUKA,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Cech Republic
Cardinal Willem EIJK,
President of the Bishops' Conference of the Netherlands
Cardinal Vincent NICHOLS, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Cardinal Christoph SCHÖNBORN,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Austria
Beatitude Sviatoslav SHEVCHUK,
Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Patriarch Manuel CLEMENTE,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Portugal
Exarch Christo PROYKOV,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of BulgaryCCEE page 3 of 4
Archbishop Ricardo BLÁZQUEZ PÉREZ,
President of the Bishops' Conference of Spain
Archbishop Ruggero FRANCESCHINI,
President of the Bishops' Conference of Turkey
Archbishop Zef GASHI,
President of the Bishops’Conference of SS. Cyril and Methodius (Serbia, Kosovo, 
Montenegro, Macedonia)
Archbishop Stanisław GADECKI, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Poland
Archbishop Jean-Claude HOLLERICH,
Archbishop of Luxembourg
Archbishop André-Joseph LÉONARD,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Belgium
Archbishop Angelo MASSAFRA, 
President Bishops’ Conference of Albania
Archbishop Mieczyslaw MOKRZYCKI, 
President of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ukraina
Archbishop Fragkiskos PAPAMANÓLIS, 
President of the Greek Bishops’ Conference of Greece
Archbishop Paolo PEZZI, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Russia
Archbishop Georges PONTIER, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of France
Archbishop Ioan ROBU, 
President of Bishops’ Conference of Romania
Archbishop Youssef SOUEIF,
Archbishop of Maronites in Cyprus
Archbishop Sigitas TAMKEVICIUS, 
President of Bishops’ Conference of LithuaniaCCEE page 4 of 4
Archbishop Philip TARTAGLIA,
President of Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
Archbishop Stanislav ZVOLENSKÝ,
President of Bishops’ Conference of Slovachia
Bishop Anders ARBORELIUS, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of the Nordic Countries
Bishop Markus BÜCHEL, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Switzerland
Bishop Anton COSA,
Bishop of Chisinau (Moldova)
Bishop Andrej GLAVAN,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Slovenia
Bishop Mario GRECH, 
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Malta
Bishop Aleksander KASZKIEWICZ,
President of Bishops’ Conference of Belarus
Bishop Franjo KOMARICA
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bishop Philippe JOURDAN, 
Apostolic Administrator of Estonia
Bishop Želimir PULJIC,
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Croatia

 

TAGS: CCEE, Iraq
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