July 18, 2023
Contact: Eli McCarthy, Ph.D., Franciscan Action Network
WASHINGTON, DC – The war in Ukraine continues to deepen the dehumanization of persons and devaluing the sense of being one human family. The U.S. President decided to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, which will extend the killing during and after the war, especially for civilians. The recent suspension of the grain deal threatens the lives of many others living in areas of poverty. As Archbishop Zuppi, the envoy of Pope Francis, visits Washington DC, more than 230 religious leaders and people of faith have decried this war in a recent letter sent to Congress. They support Pope Francis’ calls for “gestures of humanity” and courageous diplomatic initiatives to end the mass slaughter in Ukraine and cultivate a just peace. The time for peacebuilding is now.
Signers include: Bishop John Stowe, KY; Bridget Moix, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation; Michele Dunne, Executive Director of Franciscan Action Network; Zainab Al-Suwaij, American Islamic Congress, Co-founder and Executive Director; Bridget Bearss, RSCJ, Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Joyce Ajiouny, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee; Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA; Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director, Churches for a Middle East Peace; Fr. John Dear, Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Marie Dennis, Senior Advisor, Pax Christi International; Ariel Gold, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Rev. Joseph E. Mulligan, S.J.; Rev. Dr. Joseph Varghese (Orthodox), Institute for Religious Freedom and Tolerance, Executive Director; and Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, CEO.
“As Franciscans, we draw on the heritage of Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi, who were notable peacemakers at a time of brutal wars, including the Crusades as well as local conflicts. In our time, we support the efforts of Pope Francis to call world leaders to a realization that a just peace for Ukraine cannot be built on scorched earth. The time to begin building a just peace is now, not after every military option has been exhausted.” Michele Dunne, Executive Director of Franciscan Action Network