Council Expresses Gratitude to Bishop Skylstad for Leadership on Iraq

Daniel McLellan Features

BALTIMORE, Md. — In a letter dated Dec. 13, HNP’s provincial leadership expressed support and gratitude to Bishop William Skylstad, who serves as president of the United States Conference of Bishops, for his issuance of a moral response to the current situation in Iraq titled “A Call For an Examination of Alternative Courses of Action in Iraq.  Bishop Skylstad’s statement was released in November just prior to the USCCB meeting of Bishops in Baltimore.

Bishop Skylstad’s statement makes a plea for all parties involved in Iraq to deepen their dialogue for a solution that can lead to justice and peace for the people of Iraq. The statement offers a moral voice and direction that can be used in concert with the many reports and studies that are, and will be coming, from various U.S. government sources like the Bipartisan Iraq Study Group and the Department of Defense.

In the Provincial Administration’s letter, Council members offer their prayers and support to the bishops and the promise that friars and PIMs (Partners in Ministry) in the Province will be encouraged to review Bishop Skylstad’s statement. They said, “It is a priority, coming from the deepness of our Franciscan Charism, to be peacemakers. It is our hope that people with whom we minister will take your words and encourage elected officials to follow them.”

Russell Testa said that in this time of Advent, in anticipation of the coming of the “Prince of Peace,” “all are encouraged to spend some prayerful reflection on the situation in Iraq and how we might bring the wise counsel offered by Bishop Skylstad to the public discourse.”