AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Syria: Bishops’ practical suggestions to young people for non-violent protests

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Washington (Agenzia Fides) - The U.S. Catholic bishops, who have already spoken out against any military action in Syria, recommend all young people, especially college students, to give life to non-violent protests. "Since planned demonstrations and non-violent activities have started, we give you some practical suggestions" is what is written in the Bishops’ declaration on the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, according to a statement sent to Fides Agenzia.
The Bishops propose some examples to remember the variety of resources available and the need to reflect on their actions, addressing not only university students, but also those in elementary, middle school and other religious schools. Young people are therefore encouraged to organize weekend retreats "to explore the promotion of peace and non-violence".
It then suggests to "explore alternatives to conflict, study strategies for conflict resolution, participate in campaigns, fasting ... sending letters to legislators on issues such as poverty reduction, the Third World debt and the law for the control of weapons".
Last week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and the Bishop of Des Moines (Iowa) Mgr. Richard Paté, in a letter to the Congress, urged lawmakers to seek a political solution, not military, to the conflict in Syria (see Fides 05/09/2013). According to the American press, various polls show that the majority of citizens are opposed to military intervention in Syria and protests against such action begin to multiply now that educational institutions have resumed their activities after the summer holidays. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 10/09/2013)