From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Episcopalians: Griswold urges multilateral approach to Iraq, praises Bush for AIDS initiative

Date Thu, 30 Jan 2003 13:49:13 -0500

January 30, 2003


Episcopalians: Griswold urges multilateral approach to Iraq, 
praises Bush for AIDS initiative

by Jan Nunley

(ENS) Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold released a statement 
today responding to President George W. Bush's State of the 
Union message and calling on the administration to " exhaust all 
diplomatic and multilateral initiatives" as the alternative to a 
unilateral assault on Iraq.

The statement, entitled "The challenges of global citizenship," 
echoes previous statements issued by Griswold, the Executive 
Council and the House of Bishops of the church on the 
possibility of war with Iraq.

"I will not second guess those who unquestionably have better 
information than is available to me about options for action in 
response to Iraq," Griswold wrote. "However, I call on President 
Bush to exhaust all diplomatic and multilateral initiatives as 
the alternative to waging war. Our recent history makes plain 
how intertwined are the world's nations; the fate of one hangs 
on the fate of another. Unilateral actions would strain tenuous 
relationships between the United States and other nations, and 
undermine our shared goal of eradicating global terrorism and 
preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 
Therefore, I strongly urge the President to act only in concert 
with the United Nations Security Council."

Griswold praised Bush for his decision to commit the resources 
of the Federal government to the fight against AIDS. "I warmly 
applaud the President's call for $15 billion over the next five 
years for the global fight against HIV/AIDS and this evidence of 
his compassionate commitment. I will strongly support him as he 
seeks funding and implementation for this bold new initiative," 
said Griswold. "Sub-Saharan Africa is being devastated by this 
disease and a generation is dying, leaving orphaned children who 
are at risk of being drawn into armies and made tools of terror. 
However, the situation is not hopeless if we commit ourselves to 
addressing this grave threat which affects us all."

Griswold added, "Our nation has an opportunity, and 
responsibility, to reflect the values and ideals that we espouse 
by focusing upon issues of poverty, disease and despair, both 
within our own nation and throughout the global community. The 
freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States oblige us to 
attend both to our own welfare and to the well being of the 
world. A nation that is a super power, and declares itself to be 
'under God,' must exercise the role of super servant. Fighting 
to eradicate HIV/AIDS and caring for those beyond ourselves is 
in the best tradition of American generosity and compassion.

"My prayers are with our President and other leaders of our 
nation and world that they may seek to forge peace, with the men 
and women of the armed forces, including our military chaplains, 
and their families. I pray that compassion and reconciliation 
and healing may become the realities of our common life, thereby 
reflecting God's own passionate desire for the well being of the 
world God sent his Son to save," Griswold concluded. 

Griswold read the statement to the Executive Council, which 
responded with a resolution stating that the council "commends 
to the whole church the Presiding Bishop's statement of January 
30th on current global affairs and adopts the statement as an 
expression of the mind of the council." The council met this 
week in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. La Iglesia Episcopal 
Dominicana has been a part of Province IX of the Episcopal 
Church since 1897.


Resources on the situation in Iraq are available at the Peace 
and Justice Ministries Web site.

Related stories:

Five years on, Griswold calls church to God's mission of 
reconciliation, love  (January 16, 2003) 

NCC delegation returns from Iraq with warning against war 
(January 10, 2003) 

Chicago religious leaders ask President Bush to give peace a 
chance (December 2, 2002) 

Meeting the troops: Bishop Packard visits armed forces in Asia 
and Kuwait  (November 20, 2002) 

House of Bishops meeting in Cleveland addresses possibility of 
war with Iraq (October 2, 2002) 

Episcopalians, Anglicans join in worldwide commemorations of 
terrorist attacks (September 12, 2002) 

Griswold joins church leaders in warning against military action 
in Iraq (September 12, 2002)  

'A super power...must exercise the role of super servant': The 
Presiding Bishop's statement on military action against Iraq 
(September 6, 2002) 

Church leaders appeal to 'stop the rush to war' (August 30, 

--The Rev. Jan Nunley is deputy director of Episcopal News 

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