U.S. bishops support efforts toward nuclear disarmament

Two leaders of the U.S. bishops voiced the Catholic Church's support for continued efforts toward nuclear disarmament in a recent letter to President Barack Obama.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Bishop Robert Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, mentioned Pope John XXIII's push for an end to nuclear weapons throughout the world in 1963. Dolan is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pates is the head of the conference's Committee on International Justice and Peace.

"In Berlin, you recently reiterated a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, a vision that the Catholic Church has long supported," Dolan and Pates said. "Today, we again pledge support of U.S. efforts to achieve mutual reductions in the stockpiles of nuclear weapons, to adopt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation."

Dolan and Pates also expressed support for peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. They emphasized the need for vigorous leadership by the the U.S. in the conflict and thanked President Obama for his trip to the Holy Land in March. The leaders reiterated support for a two-state solution and promised continued prayers for peace.

"We know that many consider the conflict intractable, but we believe that peace is possible," Dolan and Pates said.