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Australian bishops petition PM on Iraq

Seven Catholic bishops have joined leaders of other Churches in urging the Federal Government to use its influence to turn the US away from any course of military action against Iraq.

In a letter to Prime Minister John Howard, the 38 Church leaders said such action would have "catastrophic consequences", putting the lives of many Iraqi citizens at risk.

"It is a cause of deep distress that the threat of military action seriously devalues the lives of all people in countries such as Iraq, who are already suffering severely from harsh leadership and the economic impact of extreme sanctions and bombardments," said the letter.

The Church leaders called on Mr Howard to use his influence to dissuade the US Government from its threats of military action and for the Australian Government to refrain from supporting this threat and to support diplomatic efforts to reach a solution to the problem by working through United Nations channels and other international bodies.

Pope John Paul II has repeatedly condemned sanctions against Iraq over the past 12 years, saying they are inhumane.

Now Australian Catholic leaders have raised their voice over the prospect of a military strike against Iraq.

They include the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Archbishop Francis Carroll, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference; Archbishop Adrian Doyle, Archbishop of Hobart; Bishop David Cremin, for the Archbishop of Sydney; Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishop of Wollongong; Bishop Kevin Manning, Bishop of Parramatta; Bishop Chris Toohey, Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes, and Bishop Peter Stasiuk, who represents the Ukrainian Catholics in Australia.

Catholic bishops join lobby to PM for Iraq attack re-think (8/8/02)

Catholic Weekly

11 Sep 2002