Sisters of St. Joseph urge peace in Iraq

BOSTON -- As the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq approaches, the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which includes the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, released a statement March 14 expressing their opposition to the war in Iraq and the increased deployment of troops.

“This war continues to destroy the gifts of Earth and increases violence in an area of the world desperately in need of dialogue and diplomacy,” they said in the statement signed by the Leadership Council of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

The community of 6,500 women religious and 2,500 associates expressed deep sympathy for the military and civilian lives, both American and Iraqi, that have been lost and for the families of those casualties.

March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph and the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The Sisters of St. Joseph went on to call for a diplomatic conclusion to this enduring war.

“We challenge leaders and people of good will to build relationships that foster just and nonviolent solutions in Iraq and the surrounding region. We call upon the U.S. government and its allies to work with the United Nations to promote a comprehensive cease fire and to promote concrete plans for securing peace, economic development and reconciliation among the deeply divided Iraqi factions,” they said.

Their belief is that these actions will lead to a “hope-filled future for the people of Iraq,” the statement said.