US Bishops praise Obama (for efforts in Middle East)

(Zenit)  The folks at Zenit carried a story on June 27 entitled “Bishops Praise Obama for Peace Efforts in Mideast”.  Often the news media portrays the criticism of the Obama Administration by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The reality, however, is that the USCCB seems to be fair in both its support and criticism.  Under Cardinal Dolan, a board member for the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, the USCCB is giving credit where credit is due; just as members offer constructive criticism when and where it is needed.

This is shown to be true in a letter to President Obama dated June 25, 2013.  Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates (chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace) co-author this  letter on behalf of the USCCB commending President Obama for his efforts toward peace in the Holy Land.  Part of the letter is provided below.  The entire text can be read here.

“In a letter dated January 9, 2013, we asked you to exercise vigorous leadership for Israeli-Palestinian peace. We write today to commend you for traveling to the Holy Land in March, and for charging Secretary of State John Kerry with the urgent task of bringing the parties to the negotiating table. We are aware of his tireless efforts, affirm the vision of a two-state solution, and promise our support for this U.S. initiative for peace. 

“We know that many consider the conflict intractable, but we believe that peace is possible. We share the Easter prayer of Pope Francis: “Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long.” We urge persistent U.S. leadership and promise our untiring support and encouragement. 

“Thank you for your leadership on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and on Israeli-Palestinian peace. We know both issues remain challenging, appreciate your leadership in tackling them, and offer our prayerful support.