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95 UM Bishops Join Partisan Democrats To Bash Bush On "rush to war" In Iraq


MEDIA RELEASE -- For Immediate Release

Local interviews available by arrangement on request. 

 

Contact Persons: 

 

Bishop Kenneth L. Carder  919-660-3423 kcarder@div.duke.edu

 

Bishop Joe A. Wilson  512-868-2553  jwbish@verizon.net.

 

The Consensus Statement may be used freely in its entirety or in relevant part at will.


95 United Methodist Bishops Release Statement of Conscience on Iraq War

 

In an unusual move for the United Methodist Church, ninety-five United Methodist bishops from every region of the United States as well as Europe, Africa, and Asia have released a joint Statement of Conscience entitled, “A Call to Repentance and Peace with Justice.” 

 

The Council of Bishops are the elected officials who constitute the leadership of the United Methodist.  They come from all over the United States and from countries all over the world.

 

In the Statement of Conscience the bishops admit, “In the face of the United States Administration’s rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent.” 

 

The bishops commit themselves to pray for the end of war in general and the Iraq war specifically, to reclaim the prophetic authority to speak out against injustice and war, and to engage in advocacy and peacemaking as integral to Christian discipleship. 

 

They call upon United Methodists to join them in the pursuit of peace with justice and “to object when governing powers offer solutions of war that conflict with the gospel message of self-emptying love.

 

The statement originated with a few bishops who were troubled by the prevailing silence of many church leaders and their own failure to boldly and publicly challenge the Iraq war as being contrary to basic Christian values. 

 

As the statement circulated among bishops, others voluntarily joined the expression of conscience and call to repentance and peacemaking. 

 

The signers reflect a wide consensus and are comprised of a broad national, regional, age, gender, and theological diversity.

 

Many signers of the Statement of Conscience supported the Council of Bishops’ adopting a Resolution calling for the development of a plan for withdrawal of all U. S. military troops from Iraq and the rebuilding nations in the Middle East through a multinational development plan.

 

The complete statement is provided below.

 

The list of Bishops and their locations is also provided below.

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Contact Persons: 

 

Bishop Kenneth L. Carder  919-660-3423  kcarder@div.duke.edu

 

Bishop Joe A. Wilson  512-868-2553  jwbish@verizon.net.

 

Statement of Conscience

 

  A Call to Repentance and Peace with Justice

 

As followers of Jesus Christ, who named peacemakers as blessed children of God, we call upon The United Methodist Church to join us in repentance and renewed commitment to Christ’s reign of compassion, justice, reconciliation, and peace.

 

As elected and consecrated bishops of the church, we repent of our complicity in what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States Administration’s rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent.

 

We confess our preoccupation with institutional enhancement and limited agendas while American men and women are sent to Iraq to kill and be killed, while thousands of Iraqi people needlessly suffer and die, while poverty increases and preventable diseases go untreated.

 

Although we value the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the military, we confess our betrayal of the scriptural and prophetic authority to warn the nations that true security lies not in weapons of war, but in enabling the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized to flourish as beloved daughters and sons of God.

 

We confess our failure to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to be a people who welcome and love all those for whom Christ died.

 

Aware that we are to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, we personally and as bishops commit ourselves to:

 

▪Pray daily for the end of war in general and the Iraq war specifically; for those who suffer as the result of war, including the soldiers and their families; the Iraqi people in their struggle to find a workable form of government; and for the leaders of the United States that they will turn to truth, humility, and policies of peace through justice.

 

▪Reclaim the prophetic authority that calls nations, individuals, and communities to live faithfully in the light of God’s new creation where all people know their identity as beloved children of God; where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream; and  where barriers are removed and all  creation is healed, reconciled, and renewed.

 

▪Commit ourselves to peacemaking as an integral component of our own Christian discipleship, which means advocating and actively working for the things that make for peace: personal, institutional, and governmental priorities that protect the poor and most vulnerable; modeling an end to prejudice toward people of other faiths and cultures; confronting differences and conflicts with grace, humility, dialogue, and respect without being so cautious in confronting evil that we lose our moral authority.

 

We call upon all United Methodists to join in the pursuit of peace through justice as revealed in Holy Scripture and incarnate in Jesus Christ.  

 

▪Let us move beyond caution rooted in self protection and recover moral authority anchored in commitment to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

 

▪Let us object with boldness when governing powers offer solutions of war that conflict with the gospel message of self-emptying love.

 

▪Let us with compassion share the pain of God’s children who suffer from the devastation of war and those who live in poverty resulting from misplaced priorities and misguided public policies.

 

▪Let us work toward unity in a world of diversity, that all peoples will come to know that we belong to one another, and that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself … and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us”(2 Corinthians 5:19).

 

 

Signed: 

Bishop Robert C. Morgan, Birmingham, Alabama 

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Phoenix, Arizona

Bishop Elias G. Galvan, Scottsdale, Arizona 

Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks, Little Rock, Arkansas

Bishop Felton E. May, Little Rock, Arkansas 

Bishop William W. Dew, Jr, Danville, California

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Los Angeles, California

Bishop Roy I. Sano, Oakland, California

Bishop Beverly Shamana, San Francisco, California

Bishop Leontine Kelly, San Mateo, California

Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan, Upland, California 

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Denver, Colorado  

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey, Dakotas  

Bishop John R. Schol, District of Columbia  

Bishop J. Lloyd Knox, St. Petersburg, Florida

Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker, Florida  

Bishop L.  Bevel Jones III, Decatur, Georgia

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Chicago, Illinois

Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Chicago, Illinois

Bishop William B. Lewis, Edwardsville, Illinois 

Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp, Evansville, Indiana

Bishop R. Sheldon Duecker, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer. Iowa  

Bishop Bruce P. Blake, Winfield Kansas

Bishop Richard B. Wilke, Winfield, Kansas 

Bishop James R. King, Jr., Louisville. Kentucky  

Bishop S. Clifton Ives, Portland, Maine 

Bishop James K. Mathews, Bethesda, Maryland

Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel, Smithsburg, Maryland

Bishop Forrest C. Stith, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 

Bishop Susan W. Hassinger, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Bishop Peter D. Weaver, Boston, Massachusetts 

Bishop Jesse R. DeWitt, Dexter, Michigan 

Bishop Sally Dyck, Minnesota

Bishop Clay F. Lee, Jr., Bryam, Mississippi

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Mississippi

Bishop Eugene M. Frank, Kansas City, Missouri

Bishop Albert Frederick (Fritz) Mutti, Kansas City, Missouri

Bishop Ann B. Sherer, Nebraska

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, New Jersey

Bishop Susan Murch Morrison, Albany, New York

Bishop Violet Fisher, New York West

Bishop Jeremiah Park, New York

Bishop F. Herbert Skeete, Riverdale, New York

Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey, Charlotte, North Carolina

Bishop Monk Bryan, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, Durham, North Carolina

Bishop C. P. Minnick, Jr., Raleigh, North Carolina

Bishop Mack B. Stokes, Waynesville, North Carolina

Bishop Judith Craig, Powell, Ohio

Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, London, Ohio

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Ohio West

Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr., Oklahoma

Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, Portland. Oregon

Bishop Calvin D. McConnell, Portland, Oregon

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Bishop Neil L. Irons, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Bishop Marcus Matthews, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bishop Alfred Johnson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bishop George W. Bashore, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bishop D. Frederick Wertz, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Bishop C. Dale White, Newport, Rhode Island

Bishop Marshall L. Meadors, Jr., Anderson, South Carolina

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Brentwood, Tennessee

Bishop Rueben P. Job, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

Bishop Roy C. Clark, Nashville, Tennessee

Bishop Joseph E. Pennel, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee

Bishop Dan E. Solomon, Abilene, Texas

Bishop William B. Oden, Dallas, Texas

Bishop J. Woodrow Hearn, Galveston, Texas

Bishop Joe A. Wilson, Georgetown, Texas

Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, Houston, Texas

Bishop Benjamin R. Oliphint, Houston, Texas

Bishop Max D. Whitfield, Northwest Texas - New Mexico

Bishop R. Kern Eutsler, Mechanicsville, Virginia

Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, Richmond, Virginia

Bishop Jack M. Tuell, Des Moines, Washington

Bishop Edward W. Paup, Seattle. Washington

Bishop William Boyd Grove, Charleston, West Virginia

Bishop Ernest S. Lyght, West Virginia

Bishop Linda Lee, Wisconsin

Bishop Donald A. Ott, Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Bishop Hans Växby, Eurasia

Bishop Arthur Kulah, Monrovia, Liberia

Bishop Øystein Olsen, Nordic and Baltic

Bishop Walter Klaiber, Tuebingen, Germany

Bishop Ruediger R. Minor, Dresden, Germany

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Germany

Bishop Daniel C. Arichea, JR., Banquito City, Philippians

Bishop Benjamin A. Justo, Baguio , Philippines

Bishop Solito K. Toquero, Manila , Philippines

Bishop Benjamin Boni, Côte D’Ivoire Area, West Africa

Bishop John G. Innis, Liberia , West Africa

Bishop Abel T. Muzorewa, Harare, Zimbabwe  

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