WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Permitting Iran to develop nuclear weapons is unacceptable, according to U.S. bishops, but without an immediate threat, America must be committed to pursuing a diplomatic solution to the present confrontation.

This was the message delivered by letter last week to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida, on behalf of the U.S. episcopal conference. The bishops were reacting to escalating rhetoric and news accounts speculating about a potential pre-emptive use of force against Iran to deter further possible nuclear weapons ambitions, the conference reported.

"From a moral perspective," Bishop Wenski wrote, "in the absence of an immediate threat […] military action would constitute an act of preventative war."

The Catholic Church, he noted, teaches that "engaging in a preventative war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions."

The bishops make clear their assessment that the Iranian situation does not constitute an immediate threat.

Before military action could be considered, according to the bishops, all nonmilitary alternatives must be exhausted. Options, they suggest, range from diplomatic and economic incentives, to increased international involvement and cooperation, to economic sanctions.

The bishops also called on the nation’s leaders to change the United States’ current posture to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used against nonnuclear threats. They also appealed for greater, more sustained progress toward disarmament in the spirit of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

ZE07111103 - 2007-11-11


Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky