Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jesuit Conference Board: A Letter to President Bush (October 2, 2001)

A Letter to President Bush

October 2, 2001

Mr. George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you as the Jesuit Conference Board of the Society of Jesus in the United States. Today, there are approximately 4,000 U.S. Jesuit priests and brothers working abroad and in our domestic projects which include: 28 Jesuit-affiliated universities and colleges; 60 Jesuit-affiliated high schools and middle schools; nearly 100 Jesuit parishes; and various other social programs throughout the country. We wish to extend to you our prayers and support in wake of the unprecedented September 11th attack on our country.

As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, our government has the moral right and is under grave moral obligation to defend the common good against aggression. The unique nature of the terrorist threat, which appears to ignore the sanctity of human life, may require a carefully measured military response, which should be pursued only after all diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. We hope this response will take into consideration the following principles, drawn from the Catholic moral tradition:

-That care be extended for the protection of the innocent, including the rights of refugees to seek protection across international borders; our Jesuit Refugee Service stands ready to assist your administration in providing humanitarian assistance to those displaced by this crisis;

-That the response be proportional to the attack so that it is clear to the world that we are seeking justice, not revenge;

-That an indiscriminate, "blanket" military response is avoided;

-That specific legislative proposals meant to identify and prosecute suspected terrorists on U.S. soil do not undermine constitutional and civil rights with measures such as mandatory and indefinite detention of immigrants without charges;

-That our government radically examine the roots of suffering and anger in the Middle East;

-That we respect and use the structures and standards of international law and human rights.

Mr. President, we applaud your clear leadership in calling on the American people to refrain from acts of ethnic and religious intolerance. We will call upon our many educational and pastoral institutions to reinforce your message of non-discrimination.

Finally, we pray for you and for our country in this dark moment of the nation's history. And in the light of our instruction from Jesus Christ, we pray also for our enemies.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Very Rev. Bradley Schaeffer, SJ President, Jesuit Conference
Very Rev. Thomas Smolich, SJ Provincial, California Province
Very Rev. Richard Baumann, SJ Provincial, Chicago Province
Very Rev. Robert Scullin, SJ Provincial, Detroit Province
Very Rev. James Stormes, SJ Provincial, Maryland Province
Very Rev. Frank Reale, SJ Provincial, Missouri Province
Very Rev. Robert Levens, SJ Provincial, New England Province
Very Rev. James Bradley, SJ Provincial, New Orleans Province
Very Rev. Ken Gavin, SJ Provincial, New York Province
Very Rev. Robert Grimm, SJ Provincial, Oregon Province
Very Rev. James Grummer, SJ Provincial, Wisconsin Province

Cc: Attorney General John Ashcroft
Secretary of State General Colin Powell
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor
Senator Thomas Daschle, Senate Majority Leader
Senator Trent Lott, Senate Minority Leader
Senators Jesse Helms & Joseph Biden, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Representative J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Representative Richard Armey, House Majority Leader
Representative Richard Gephardt, House Minority Leader
Representatives Henry Hyde & Tom Lantos, House of Representatives International Relations Committee



 
Ten Jesuit Provinces of the United States

  Smolich, Schaeffer, Nicolás

   
Nicolás and Kolvenbach

1 comment:

  1. What would be wrong with this letter of support with its moral guidance ("-That ...") given the time and place? What's peculiar about the Jesuits that doesn't apply to the Dominicans or the Franciscans or the benedictines or any other order of Catholic priests? Are there bad people in every group? What did Christ warn us about this fallen world (Matt13:24-30)? This just means that we must use our rational faculties to study the Gospel and measure self and others by it and act accordingly, as in associate with the Christ-like, avoid the others.
    machimself@gmail.com

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