From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] PC(USA), Church of Scotland leaders appeal to

Date 7 Feb 2003 16:18:28 -0500

Note #7589 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

PC(USA), Church of Scotland leaders appeal  to Bush, Blair for peace
February 6, 2003

PC(USA), Church of Scotland leaders appeal  to Bush, Blair for peace

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE - As they have separately to their own leaders, officials of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) have sent
a joint appeal to U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair appealing for a peaceful resolution to the crisis over Iraq.
Blair has been Bush's most consistent supporter of the president's
pre-emptive military strike strategy for dealing with Saddam Hussein.
The letter was signed by the moderator and stated clerk of each church.

The full text of the Feb. 5 letter:

Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP
Prime Minister
United Kingdom

Hon. George W. Bush
President of the United States

Dear President Bush and Prime Minister Blair:

We write to you today jointly, as we have written before separately, to urge
upon you and your governments the continued search for peaceful solutions to
the present international crisis.  As Moderators and Clerks of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Church of Scotland, we have consistently
urged a co-operative international approach rather than pre-emptive military
action.  We believe that the call of peace must still be heard before the
siren voice of war.
The detailed involvement of the United Nations, respect for its decisions,
and adherence to international law have been and continue to be vital.	Any
international response must have transparent international agreement and
legitimacy.  To achieve this the nations of the UN must be allowed to reach a
collective decision, free from threats or economic inducement.	Only in this
way can suspicions about the motivation for war be allayed.
The Middle East urgently needs justice for all its peoples, but we must
question whether war in Iraq can achieve this - or even begin to address the
real issues for the region.  In fact, might it not be that war will only
exacerbate an already difficult situation and further inflame anti-Western
feeling?  This is of particular concern in relation to our shared hope for
peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We are well aware of the weight of responsibility you both carry; our prayers
continue to be with you as they are with all those whose lives will be
directly affected by your decisions.  We pray also that those decisions will
be both wise and just - made openly and in the light of the deliberations of
the international community.

The Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel			
Moderator of the 214th General Assembly 
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)				

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Finlay McDonald
Church of Scotland

The Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick		
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly	
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The Rev. Alan D. McDonald	
Convener, Church and Nation Committee	
Church of Scotland

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