Noting that "the road to peace goes through Jerusalem, not Baghdad," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has responded to President George Bush's January 10 speech on Iraq and related U.S. military activity. The complete text of Jefferts Schori's statement follows.
Presiding Bishop's Response to President Bush's Speech on Iraq
While I welcome President Bush's recognition that the situation in Iraq is unacceptable, I am deeply saddened by his failure to address peacemaking in the context of the whole region. It is a mistake to view Iraq only through the prism of terrorism. Others have pointed out that the road to peace goes through Jerusalem, not Baghdad. In order to bring peace to the Middle East, not just Iraq, and the land we Christians call holy, there must be a comprehensive regional plan that culminates in a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. Our country must engage diplomatically not only the U.N., European Union and Russia, but all the nations in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria. Diplomacy, built on a foundation of mutual respect and interest among people of good will, not more troops, can bring an end to this tragic conflict. We continue to pray for our soldiers and their families, as well as for all the people of the Middle East, seeking God's wisdom in the search for peace with justice, for shalom and salaam.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church