Deisis (Novogorod)

U.S. Bishops: Iran Issue Needs Diplomacy

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


Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother. For You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

 

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