The leaders of the Francisan leaders friars of Ireland, England and North America have issued a strong statement on the war in Syria, on any proposed military action, and on the way forward.
“No one should be surprised that Franciscans, with a long tradition of peacemaking, call for a nonviolent response to the tragic situation. But, ours is not a naive hope about nonviolent conflict resolution, rather, it reflects the wisdom that war and violence cannot achieve peace. Our experience affirms Pope Francis’s words, “Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.”
In no uncertain terms, military action by the U.S. or any other nation will not resolve the crisis in Syria. Worse yet, we fear that, not only will more children, women and men die, it will further harden the hearts of those on all sides of the conflict, making a permanent resolution increasingly remote.”
What is needed is a clear, prophetic call for a stop to the violence. Pope Francis issued that call when he proclaimed a day for prayer and fasting on September 7, 2013. Our friars and our ministries joined other people of faith in the call for peace and a turning away from violence.
To this end, we have committed ourselves to the following actions:
- At the invitation of our Minister General Michael Perry, OFM, we will continue praying and fasting for peace in Syria and all places of conflict.
- We will petition to our elected officials to:
- Vote against the use of military force in Syria.
- Seek to de-escalate the violence by stopping the flow of arms to all sides.
- Pursue an immediate ceasefire, as the first step in the peace process.
- Increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to Syria and to its citizens who are now refugees in other nations.
- Work with the international community to pursue a just political settlement with all the stakeholders.
Read the full statement