Israeli Army Seen Fueling Fires Of More Unrest
02-Nov-01
Catholic Standard


      Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, released the
      following statement in response to recent violence by the Israeli
      army in Bethlehem, including attacks on Catholic institutions such as
      Holy Family Hospital and Bethlehem University;

      I want to express my deep concern over the deteriorating situation in
      Bethlehem and other Palestinian controlled areas this week. I
      applaud the strong and vigorous statement released on October 24 by
      Cardinal Bernard Law, the chairman of the International Policy
      Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and I
      associate myself with it strongly.

      Of Course, all of us continue to be troubled and concerned by the
      attacks against innocent Israeli citizens and these must be stopped,
      but the Israeli army's present aggressive actions are surely not the
      way to a lasting peace in the Holy Land and only fuel the fires of
      more unrest.

      What Cardinal Law rightly calls the "indiscriminate violence in the
      streets of Bethlehem' worried not only Christian and other religious
      leaders in that part of the world, but many of us here in the United
      States as well. In a particular way, repeated attacks against
      Catholic institutions such as Holy Family Hospital and Bethlehem
      University both of which have close relationships to the Church in
      the United States- are being interpreted as signs of a hostility to
      the Christian presence in this area.

      The United States government's recent strong calls for a resumption
      of the peace process deserves to be heard by both sides before even
      more innocent lives are lost and the fragile dream of peace and
      justice in the Holy Land turns into a recurring nightmare.