"The outbreak of military action at any time is a tragedy, representing a dramatic failing in human relationships: war inevitably leads to suffering, destruction and death. We deeply regret that, in the context of the present international crisis, the very serious issues that are adjudged to have brought us to this point have not been resolved through peaceful diplomatic
War, in this case, represents a series of failures.
- The failure of diplomacy to create a united front and an effective instrument of peace.
- The failure of Saddam Hussein to heed the will of the United Nations and disarm.
- The failure of some powerful nations to win the consent of other free nations to their proposed course of action.
As leaders of the Catholic community in Scotland, acknowledging a range of views within society about the justification for war with Iraq, we nonetheless stand united in our determination to continue to build strong bonds of peace and friendship between the various faith traditions in our country. We deplore any attempt to create divisions between our communities on the basis of race, culture or faith. We condemn anyone who seeks to foment disharmony in our nation. And we commit ourselves to working together and alongside all people of goodwill in our country to ensure the continuation of the good community relations that exist here.
At this critical moment of history, it is prayer we offer. Prayer for our political leaders, that they may be guided in the paths of justice; prayer for our armed forces that they may be spared from harm and prayer for the innocent people of Iraq, whose suffering has already endured for too long. Through our international aid agency SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) we have already provided funding for the preparation of health centres and hospitals for use in the event of air strikes. Donations to help the victims and survivors of this war can be sent to: SCIAF, 19 Park Circus, Glasgow. Tel:0141 354 5555.
We pray that there may be a swift end to the conflict, and a renewed determination to create a just and lasting peace for all the peoples of the Middle East."
Catholic Media Office
0141 221 1168