Text of Presiding Bishop's letters to Bush, Powell

April 5, 2002

April 5, 2002
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Amid the terrible surge of violence in the Holy Land, I wish to thank you for your decision to send Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region and for your call for Israeli forces to withdraw from Palestinian cities. I am truly alarmed by the massive military response of Israel to the deplorable suicide bombings, and particularly by the reported executions, denial of access by medical personnel, and immense destruction of property and infrastructure. Clearly, the two parties in this conflict no longer have the means or the will to control events.

Given the urgency of the crisis, I ask that you send Secretary Powell if humanly possible without delay rather than next week.. Any delay will allow for the violence to continue unabated, and many more people will lose their lives. Time is of the essence.

Further, I would like to formally request the opportunity to bring a group of Christian leaders to meet with you in support of peace-building in the Holy Land.

Please be assured of my prayers during this difficult time, as the weight of these important decisions bear upon you.

Yours sincerely,

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA

April 5, 2002
The Honorable Colin Powell
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Amid the terrible surge of violence in the Holy Land, I am grateful for your commitment to the difficult work of peace-building. Given the urgency of the crisis, it would be my strongest hope that you would undertake your mission there as soon as humanly possible. Any delay will allow for the violence to continue unabated, and many more people may die.

I am truly alarmed by the massive military response of Israel to the deplorable suicide bombings, and particularly by the reported executions, the denial of access by medical personnel, and the immense destruction of property and infrastructure. Clearly, the two parties in this conflict no longer have the means or the will to control events.

I write particularly to suggest that you meet with the Christian leadership in Jerusalem, including the Palestinian bishops of the Latin, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches. Our churches are, of course, committed to nonviolence and have substantial influence with the Palestinian Authority. Our own Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem stands ready to assist in facilitating such a meeting.

Please be assured of my prayers during this difficult time, as the weight of this important work bears upon you.

Yours sincerely,

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA