Invitation by the CCCB Social Affairs Commission to the Federal Government to bring NATO's military intervention to an end in Kosovo

Wednesday, March 31 1999

Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Building
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Mr Prime Minister:

Canada’s participation in Operation Determined Force, undertaken with the military might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states, is a cause for sadness. It worries us that diplomatic efforts appear to be given second place in searching for a solution to the political crisis that is so much influenced by recent as well ancient history in this region of the world.

As the Holy Father emphasized in a speech before European parliamentarians on March 29, answering violence with violence is never the way to end a crisis. What is needed is to silence arms and to stop acts of vengeance in order to undertake negotiations, he said, with the aim of arriving at a peace agreement that respects the different peoples and their cultures.

Accordingly, while we were happy to hear that the Government of Canada will be providing aid to humanitarian organizations that are assisting displaced people in need, we also invite the Government to continue its political and diplomatic efforts to bring NATO’s military intervention to an end.

We fervently pray during this Easter season that the Government of Canada will pursue its policies for consolidating peace, encouraging the members of the United Nations Security Council and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OCSE) to recommence initiatives toward peace proposals, and bringing all parties to the negotiation table in the shortest time possible.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend François Thibodeau, C.J.M.
Bishop of Edmundston
Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops